Generic and Homophobic Bullying in School Context

Paulo Costa, José Pinto, Henrique Pereira, Beatriz Pereira

Abstract


Aim: Given the little scientific information about homophobic bullying in Portugal, the purpose of this study was to assess its prevalence, in comparison to generic bullying, from the perspective of the victims; to compare differences related to gender and to understand the association between homophobic bullying and feelings of unhappiness and humiliation and victim’s reporting. Method: A total of 171 (7th grade), 160 (8th) and 156 (9th) students (52.0% female/48.0% male), between 11 and 17 years old, completed a self-report questionnaire in digital format, assessing: gender, victimization, feelings of unhappiness and humiliation and victim’s reporting. Results: Of these students 33.0% were victims of bullying, mostly in the 8th grade. Boys and girls were equally likely to be victims. On the other hand, homophobic bullying situations in school increased from the 7th to the 9th grade and male students were more frequently bullied than females, showing statistically significant differences in the 9th grade. The more frequent the homophobic bullying episodes became, the greater the feelings of unhappiness and humiliation and more frequent the reporting. Conclusion: These findings strengthen the need to promote actions and programs aiming at prevention in schools, from a systemic perspective, emphasizing the intervention of observers of bullying episodes.

Keywords


bullying; children; longitudinal; victims; gender; homophobia