Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of the basic factors of age and gender in homophobic bullying behaviour, in order that recommendations for the design of anti‐bullying programmes specific to homophobic bullying could be made. Design/methodology/approach – In total, 475 fifth year students (ca. 16‐17 years old) and 561‐second year students (ca. 13‐14 years old) at six secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland completed an English‐language translation of a questionnaire previously used in a Norwegian study of sexual orientation and bullying behaviour (Roland and Auestad, 2009). Findings – No evidence of “age‐related declines” were found in reports of either bullying or homophobic bullying. Males were significantly more likely than females to report involvement (as both perpetrators and targets) in both bullying and homophobic bullying. Practical implications – It was concluded that senior secondary school students, as well as their younger counterparts, should be involved in anti‐bullying interventions; that males should be especially focused upon; and that programmes specific to anti‐homophobic bullying, potentially targeting pre‐adolescent students, should be supported. Originality/value – This paper suggests evidence‐based priorities for intervention programmes specific to homophobic bullying, accounts of which have been, to date, absent in the research literature.
Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 8, 2014
Keywords: Gender; Homophobia; Age; Anti‐bullying; Homophobic bullying; Intervention programmes
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