Gender Bullying: How to Put a Stop to It
Sex-based harassment, which can also be referred to as gender bullying, is mostly caused by sexual stereotyping. This kind of bullying involves name-calling, sexist comments, sexual innuendo, etc. Girls are called names like slut, bitch and whore, words that suggest that a girl is not acting as females are expected. Boys that speak, dress or are shaped “feminine” are called sissies, girlie or wuss to try to deny them the legitimacy of their manhood. It is mainly older or stronger boys and girls that engage in this kind of harassment, as they know that their victims are afraid to fight back.
Effects of Bullying on the Targets
- The victims of sexual bullying may become withdrawn and sad.
- The targets can get physically, socially, and emotionally damaged.
- They may lose concentration and motivation at school, and hence, their grades suffer.
- Victims might experience physical health difficulties and poor self-esteem. They may also suffer from anxiety disorders such as depression, suicide attempts, panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Teens who are bullied may end up dropping out of school.
- Bullying can bring about shyness, social phobia or isolation.
What School Communities Can Do
- Draw up effective anti-bullying policies, procedures, and programs. In these policies, the punishment should be clearly stated so that students understand the consequences of bullying.
- Inform both students and teachers about their legal responsibilities when it comes to gender bullying.
- Research the extent of the bullying in schools and devise means of stopping it based on the views of the students.
- Provide resources and strategies in the school curriculum that give girls and boys time to challenge the societal understandings of being feminine or masculine and how they distort their beliefs.
How Targets Can Help Reduce Bullying
- You should learn social survival skills like bluffing your way out of the situation or standing up for yourself, verbally or physically, if need be. If you decide to cower from the bullying instead of fighting back, the bully will not stop bothering you.
- Make true friends who stand up for you in situations when somebody wants to bully you. Also, try to surround yourself with these friends. Bullies are normally cowards that are afraid to approach you when surrounded by other people.
- If the bullying is too much for you to handle on your own, report the bully to your teachers and parents. Most schools have policies against bullying of any kind and will be able to punish the bully and prevent other incidences.
Gender bullying is not something that is easy to deal with as a target as it undermines your self-worth. By following the above tips, however, you will be able to put a stop to it. You also need to go for counseling if you are a victim of bullying to regain your self-confidence and overcome any other traumas caused by the bullying.