Teens Are More Violent When They See Girls Being Abused

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Teens Are More Violent When They See Girls Being Abused
Teens Are More Violent When They See Girls Being Abused

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Teens are more violent when they see girls being abused

Teenage boys who have witnessed abusive peer behavior towards girls are more prone to violence. Conversely, the likelihood of violent behavior is less if adolescents viewed boys and girls as equal.

Teens are more violent when they see girls being abused
Teens are more violent when they see girls being abused

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Teenage boys who have witnessed peer abusive behavior towards girls are more prone to violence. Conversely, the likelihood of violent behavior is less if adolescents viewed boys and girls as equal. The study is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Scientists surveyed 866 boys, ages 13-19, from 20 poor neighborhoods in Pittsburgh; 70% of them were African American, 21% Hispanic. In this study, for the first time, information from American adolescents was obtained in a community setting (extracurricular programs, libraries, churches, youth organizations) rather than in schools or clinics.

Scientists have reported that sexual aggression and dating violence have multiple effects on adolescents. They believe that addressing these negative social norms can help cope with disrespectful and harmful behavior.

Boys who answered that they saw abusive peer behavior towards women and girls are more likely to use violence against others, regardless of gender (rape - 2 times more often, bullying - 5 times).

“This increases the pressure to conform to stereotypes about masculinity, which contribute to the perpetuation of harmful behaviors towards women and girls, also associated with fighting the other guy. This behavior does not happen in isolation - if we are going to stop one, we must also deal with the other,”said lead author Elizabeth Miller.

More than half of all respondents (56%) reported sexual harassment on their part, and 68% threatened with a weapon or injured during an argument. One in three of the 619 boys who have ever dated a girl behaved abusively towards them.

The researchers noted that adolescents who consider men and women equal, nevertheless engage in homophobic bullying, which was approved by three quarters of the respondents.

“This is a mysterious and disturbing discovery. We believe that this may be due to the normalization of homophobic ridicule in adolescents - so commonplace that it is seen as a form of acceptable, perhaps even prosocial interaction with their peers,”said Alison. Kalyba (Alison Culyba), study co-author.

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