Bullying perpetration and subsequent sexual violence perpetration among middle school students.

Traditional bullying perpetration may translate into more gendered harassment and aggressive behaviors in the form of homophobic teasing and sexual harassment.


Summary: This study examined the association between bullying and sexual violence perpetration among 1,391 middle school students from multiple schools in a Midwestern state.  In 2008, students responded to questions about their attitudes and experiences at school as part of a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The data was collected in 2 waves.  Findings indicated that 12% of males and 12% of females were considered perpetrators of bullying and 20% of females and 24% of males reported homophobic teasing.  The most significant predictor of sexual harassment perpetration was bullying. The prevalence of sexual violence perpetration did not vary significantly by gender.


Application:  Prevention educators may want to address the meanings and associations between sexual violence, bullying, and homophobic teasing when working with youth.  Prevention programs should consider addressing gender-based bullying and sexual harassment.


Limitations: There is an error in the text.  The abstract indicates data was collected from students in 5 schools, but the methods report data was collected from 4 schools.  

Espelage, D. L., Basile, K. C., & Hamburger, M. E.
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Journal of Adolescent Health
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