33 SES 09 A, Violence Against the LGBTQ+ Community and Violent Models of Relationship
The research addressed is part of the project MEMO4LOVE: Social interactions and dialogues that transform memories and promote affective-sexual relationships free of violence from Secondary Education centers (2016-2019), funded under the Spanish competitive research and development Program (EDU2016-75370-R). The research main aim is to identify interventions for the preventive socialization of gender-based violence (GV), based on promoting higher psychological processes such as critical thinking, attending to communicative interaction, memory and emotion.
GV in adolescence is a global issue. A European Union report (2014) indicates that GV affects many women since the age of 15 with a significant prevalence. United Nations (2015) highlight that one in three women has suffered physical and/or sexual violence at some pointin their lives. Among the elements identified by international scientific literature that make adolescent girls more vulnerable to GV, alcohol or drug abuse is a leading risk factor (Calafat el al., 2013; Bouffard, J. A. & Miller, H. A., 2014). Nevertheless, the focus is on social factors and the critical role of interactions on socialization towards violence, such as the influence of peer pressure, which can increase the risk of abusive relationships.
Thus, peer interactions have been identified as crucial in the process of sexual-affective socialization and the learning of attraction. According to Gómez (2015), a pioneer in the research line on socialization in models of attraction and GV prevention, one of the main attraction models is the dominant traditional masculinity model, which links aggressive attitudes of domination, submission and contempt. During the socialization process, multiple communicative interactions with different agents (media, social networks, youth literature, peer group, friends...) focus the attraction towards a kind of man with aggressive and sexist attitudes. In contrast, the egalitarian boys remain unattractive. This is the coercive dominant discourse, created by the group pressure pushing some girls to experience violent relationships (Racionero-Plaza et al., 2021). Thus, some girls decide to have relationships with boys who respond to the dominant model, with direct risk to suffer GV (Flecha et al., 2013; Duque, 2015). Evidence shows that these violent boys' attraction increases during adolescence (Rose et al., 2004). Conversely, literature shows how socialization on ideal love could be a GV solution as it links romantic ideas towards non-violent models of relationship and masculinity (Sordé et al., 2017).
Those interactions and how people talk about the experienced event can change perceptions and emotions linked to the memories. It is known as the audience's turning effect to the result of telling something adapted to an audience's opinion and remembering the event in subsequent situations justas described (Echterhoff et al., 2009). In the same way, it has been shown that the way the relationships are remembered has effects on memories and influences the subsequent sexual-affective relationships of young women (Racionero-Plaza et al., 2018).
This contribution aims to approach how communicative interactions among adolescents in secondary schools intervene in attraction learning.
The study sample is 141 students (aged to 15 and 16) who attended Compulsory Secondary School in the 4th academic year in three schools of Seville (Spain), one of them a private one (C2) and the other two public (C1 and C3). In each of the three schools, two group classes participated in the research. Researchers collected quantitative and qualitative data with two research instruments. On the one hand, the questionnaire IPVAS - Intimate Partner Violence Attitude Scale was administered, whose main objective is to scale the attitudes towards violence. On the other hand, a questionnaire on interactions was explicitly designed for the project goal with 9 sections: Personal data; Ideas about attraction and love; Models of person and relationship which are considered attractive or convenient; Masculinity models; The mirage of upward mobility; Group pressure; Change in attraction; Characteristics of the boys you like; Open-ended question to add anything students consider of interest. This questionnaire has a final section of open-ended questions. This first questionnaire aimed to explore how the communicative interactions are among adolescents concerning the attraction towards violence or non-violence. The instrument validity is gained through a review of experts in preventive socialization of gender-based violence and, through a pilot test with a small sample of adolescents of the same age of the study sample. In consequence, some questions were reworded. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis, and open coding was used to analyze the qualitative data.
Results show trends in the perceptions of relationships and attractiveness, and a considerable influence of the communicative interactions happened inside the groups of friends. Most boys and girls perceive attraction as inevitable and unchangeable. Girls feel it more often than boys and perceive attraction as something irrational, which can also difficult their perception of change and make them particularly vulnerable to attraction to violence. The importance of peer group on changing attraction is clear. More than half of the boys and girls admit to having changed their attraction for someone due to how they have talked about that person in the group, speaking of him or her as an attractive or interesting person or stressing his or her values. There is peer pressure related to starting a relationship. The features considered by the group of friends as attractive seem to influence the kind of relationship (occasional/stable) and the masculinity that attracts. Although both boys and girls are under pressure, the incidence is higher for girls. While boys who behave as a non-egalitarian and violent model of masculinity are perceived as ideal for a sporadic relationship, boys who perform an egalitarian non-violent model are perceived as ideals for stable relationships. This increases the risk of suffering violence in sporadic relationships. Masculinity models appear as factors either of risk or protection against group pressure depending on how the topic is discussed in the group. Interactions marked by the attraction to those who show a model characterized by violence, and mockery of those who represent equality, can be a risk factor for group pressure situations towards girls. Attitudes of respect towards those with good values could have a protective effect. These results aim to reach European and international youth as well as educators and families.
European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights (2014). Violencia de género contra las mujeres: una encuesta a escala de la UE. Resumen de las conclusiones. Luxemburg: Publication Office of the EU. Bouffard, J. A. & Miller, H. A. (2014). The role of sexual arousal and over-perception of sexual intent within the decision to engage in sexual coercion. Journal of interpersonal violence, 29(11), 1967-1986. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260513515950 Calafat, A., Hughes, K., Blay, N., Bellis, M. A., Mendes, F., Juan, M., Lazarov, P., Cibin, B. & Duch, M. A. (2013). Sexual harassment among young tourists visiting Mediterranean resorts. Archives of sexual behavior, 42(4), 603–13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-012-9979-6 Duque, E. (coord.) (2015). IDEALOVE&NAM. Socialización preventiva de la violencia de género. Madrid: CNIIE, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. Secretaria de Estado de Educación, Formación Profesional y Universidades. Echterhoff, G., Higgins, E. T., & Levine, J. M. (2009). Shared reality: Experiencing commonality with others' inner states about the world. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(5), 496-521. Gómez, J. (2015). Radical love: A revolution for the 21st century. Bern: Peter Lang. Flecha, R., Puigvert, L., & Ríos, O. (2013). The New Alternative Masculinities and the Overcoming of Gender Violence. International and Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Sciences, 2(1), 88-113. https://doi.org/10.4471/rimcis.2013.14 Racionero-Plaza, S., Ugalde-Lujambio, L., Puigvert, L., & Aiello, E. (2018). Reconstruction of Autobiographical Memories of Violent Sexual-Affective Relationships Through Scientific Reading on Love: A Psycho-Educational Intervention to Prevent Gender Violence. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1996. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01996 Racionero-Plaza, S., Duque, E., Padrós, M., Molina Roldán, S. “Your Friends Do Matter”: Peer Group Talk in Adolescence and Gender Violence Victimization. Children, 8, 65. https://doi.org/10.3390/children8020065 Rose, A. J., Swenson, L. P., & Waller, E. M. (2004). Overt and relational aggression and perceived popularity: developmental differences in concurrent and prospective relations. Developmental Psychology, 40(3), 378–387.https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1622.214.171.1248 Sordé, T., Aiello, E., & Castro, M. (2017). Guía para la comunidad educativa de prevención y apoyo a las víctimas de violencia escolar. Madrid: Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. United Nations (2015). The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics. Retrieved from https://unstats.un.org/unsd/gender/worldswomen.html
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