Friday, November 27, 2015

1/3 of New England high schoolers fail to intervene in cases of dating or sexual aggression, study finds

Two-thirds of high school students who had a chance to intervene in an instance of dating or sexual aggression did so, says a report by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. The data, gathered from 218 high school youth at three New England high schools, found that 93.6 percent of students had the opportunity to intervene in such an instance during the past year, but only 62.6 percent of them did so. Girls and students with a history of dating and sexual aggression were more likely to intervene than boys.

The main reasons given for not intervening were: "avoidance of drama or a desire to fuel drama, social status and personal repercussions, closeness with the victim and/or perpetrator, the victim being male and the perpetrator female, the failure of the dating or sexual aggression to meet a certain threshold, the dating and sexual aggression occurring online, anticipated negative reactions from the perpetrator or victim and an inability to relate to the situation."

Researchers wrote: “Although most curricula include lessons on healthy relationships and dating and sexual aggression, it is less common for bystander intervention education included. Given the mounting evidence that bystander education is a critical component of prevention, we urge policy makers and educators to enhance the presence of this type of education.” (Read more)

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