Healthy settings for young people in Canada – How young people are victimized
How Young People are Victimized
Bullying takes many forms, with the two most common (from 54% to 81%) being teasing (Figure 5.5) and indirect bullying such as excluding or spreading lies about the victim (Figure 5.6). Significantly more boys than girls report being teased in 2006, especially in older grades; but, overall, the 2006 rates are lower than in 2002 (Figure 5.5). In contrast, more girls report being victims of indirect bullying (Figure 5.6).
Figures 5.5 to 5.11 display data for those students who report being victims or bullyvictims.
Figure 5.7 shows that significantly more boys report physical victimization (up to 46%) in 2006, although these prevalence rates are lower than the 2002 results (when physical victimization reached as high as 55%).
Reports of sexual harassment increase with age for girls, but decrease with age for boys, with similar levels of harassment for both genders at Grade 8 (Figure 5.8). Overall, the prevalence of reported sexual harassment in 2006 declined from 2002.
Bullying because of race and religion occurs less frequently than all the other types of bullying (Figures 5.9 and 5.10), ranging from 7 to 21%. Boys in all grades report more racial harassment and religious bullying than girls. There is a slight increase in reports of racial bullying from 2002 to 2006 and a slight decrease in reported religious bullying.
This survey cycle was the first time that the HBSC study asked students about electronic or cyber bullying, including computer postings, emails, digital photos, or cell phone harassment. Girls report that they experience more cyber bullying than boys in all grades (Figure 5.11).
Physical fighting is an extreme form of aggression and merits serious attention. Figure 5.12
shows that, compared to 2002, students are more involved in physical fights. Significantly
more boys than girls in all grades report physical fighting behaviour. For boys, fighting
behaviour decreases with age, while girls’ fighting is more consistent across grades.
Almost one-half of boys indicate that the target of their physical fights is most often a
friend or acquaintance (Figure 5.13), while girls indicate that they are most likely to fight
with a sibling (Figure 5.14). It may be that girls are more likely to be aggressive within the
confines of intimate family relationships or that it is more acceptable to fight within these
relationships. Older students, especially boys, are more likely to fight with strangers, which
could put them at risk for serious injury (not shown).
The proportion of students who carry weapons is similar to that for fighting behaviour.
Seventeen percent of boys and 4% of girls report carrying weapons in the past 30 days
As illustrated in Figures 5.15 and 5.16, those students who carry weapons most often
carry knives. Fourteen percent of boys who carry weapons report that they carry handguns
or other firearms. More girls who carry weapons carry tear gas or pepper spray. The potential
risk for harm and escalating violence is of extreme concern with the increased availability
and presence of weapons.
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