Recent bullying research contradicts the stereotypes that only females use relational bullying and confirms that males use this type of bullying equally or more than females. No existing research could be found which examined differences in how each gender interprets relational bullying. Using a survey adapted from research on the rape myth and four video clips, researchers sought to examine gendered difference in the perception of relational bullying by males among adolescents. Two video clips depict scenes of cross-gender bullying and two clips depict scenes of male to male bullying. In total, 314 students in grades 8-12 participated in the research (164 males, 150 females). Questions from the survey were loaded onto three constructs: minimizing bullying, blaming the victim, and excusing the bully. MANOVA results indicated a significant difference between genders but not age groups (middle school and high school). Results were analyzed clip-by-clip as each clip depicted a different scenario. Results indicated that males were more likely to excuse the bully, blame the victim, and minimize the bullying when both bully and victim actors were male. Both genders minimized homophobic bullying more than other types of bullying. This research suggests that homophobic bullying should be targeted with bully prevention efforts. In particular, males discounted homophobic bullying as normal behavior. Because gender differences is students' perceptions were significantly greater than age differences, another suggestion when planning and implementing adolescents' bullying prevention programs is to carefully consider gender issues, rather than simply accommodating for students' grade level or age.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





bulling, relational aggression, gender, adolescent, perception