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J Sch Health. 2018 Apr;88(4):306-314. doi: 10.1111/josh.12606.

Gender Expression, Violence, and Bullying Victimization: Findings From Probability Samples of High School Students in 4 US School Districts.

Author information

1
Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue (AU-Box 17, BCH 3189), Boston, MA 02115.
2
The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476.
3
Graduate School of Public Health, Core Investigator, Institute for Behavioral and Community Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-4162.
4
Department of Clinical Research Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.
5
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.
6
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.
7
Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115.
8
Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Young people may experience school-based violence and bullying victimization related to their gender expression, independent of sexual orientation identity. However, the associations between gender expression and bullying and violence have not been examined in racially and ethnically diverse population-based samples of high school students.

METHODS:

This study includes 5469 students (13-18 years) from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys conducted in 4 urban school districts. Respondents were 51% Hispanic/Latino, 21% black/African American, 14% white. Generalized additive models were used to examine the functional form of relationships between self-reported gender expression (range: 1 = Most gender conforming, 7 = Most gender nonconforming) and 5 indicators of violence and bullying victimization. We estimated predicted probabilities across gender expression by sex, adjusting for sexual orientation identity and potential confounders.

RESULTS:

Statistically significant quadratic associations indicated that girls and boys at the most gender conforming and nonconforming ends of the scale had elevated probabilities of fighting and fighting-related injury, compared to those in the middle of the scale (p < .05). There was a significant linear relationship between gender expression and bullying victimization; every unit increase in gender nonconformity was associated with 15% greater odds of experiencing bullying (p < .0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

School-based victimization is associated with conformity and nonconformity to gender norms. School violence prevention programs should include gender diversity education.

KEYWORDS:

bullying; child and adolescent health; public health; special populations; stress; violence

PMID:
29498058
PMCID:
PMC5836796
[Available on 2019-04-01]
DOI:
10.1111/josh.12606

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