What is sexual bullying?
According to the NSPCC definition, sexual bullying is: “Any bullying behaviour, whether physical or non-physical, that is based on a person’s sexuality or gender. It is when sexuality or gender is used as a weapon by boys or girls towards other boys or girls – although it is more commonly directed at girls. It can be carried out to a person’s face, behind their back or through the use of technology.”
It might include:
- Saying ‘gay’ when you mean bad
- Homophobic bullying
- Calling someone a ‘slut’, ‘bitch’ or ‘frigid’
- Teasing someone for their sex life (true or not)
- Bullying around size of breasts/ bum/ muscles
- Threats or jokes of rape
- Unwanted touching
- Pressurising someone into sex acts
How common is it?
Sexual harassment and sexual bullying is an everyday occurrence for young people. In the UK, 70% of girls, 13-21, have experienced sexual harassment at school or college and 55% of gay people had experienced homophobic bullying at school.
What about Bristol?
During 2013 and 2014, research was undertaken with young people in school years 9-13 in Bristol looking at sexual bullying, harassment and sexism: a questionnaire and focus groups.
To download the summary of our local research and consider recommendations for schools and youth settings, click the link below.
What can I do to tackle sexual bullying?
Preventing sexual bullying, harassment and sexism in your school:
Responding to an incident of sexual bullying: