Sunday, March 31, 2013

Adolescent Masculinity Homophobia and Violence


I chose three quotes to analyze from the article. The first quote is related to the author’s analysis of media reports on random school shootings from 1982 to 2001. “We found a striking pattern from the stories about the boys who committed the violence: Nearly all had stories of being constantly bullied, beat up, and most significantly for this analysis, “ gay baited.” Their stories of cultural marginalization “based on criteria for adequate gender performance, specifically the enactment of codes of masculinity.” I think that this analysis shows how culture affects people’s behavior. In this article the authors hypothesized that boys who were involved in school shootings were influenced by white middle class republican values which focus on masculinity and protecting one’s masculine characteristics. This is why teenagers who bully others humiliate them about gender and sexuality related issues. In turn boys who feel insulted want revenge and choose violence to teach them a lesson and prove that they are “men”.

  The authors also focus on why white boys are more likely than African American boys to randomly open fire. My second quote from the article is “White boys who are bullied are supposed to be able to embody independence, and manly stoicism. In fact, the very search for such collective rectories can be seen as indication of weakness. Thus we might hypothesize that the cultured marginalization of the boys who did commit school shootings extended to feeling that they had no other recourse.” White boys who were bullied did not have the familial or friend support to resist to bullying and also they do not have a group like women, gays and lesbians, black students and their support.

My last quote from the article is about why some boys turn to violence over bullying and “not others who have had similar experiences.” Important factors are the dynamics of local culture, the responsive of adults and institutions, and the dynamics of their same-sex and cross-sex friendships. This allows us to understand what led some boys to commit these terrible acts and what enabled other boys to develop resistance to daily homophobic bullying. According to the article some boys can represent themselves as men to a same sex or opposite sex friend. Also they might get support from their families and school authorities. These variables and other copying strategies must further research to help us understand how gender and violence are related.   

1 comment:

  1. Great post, I also found the idea that the 'least oppressed' group, meaning middle class white males, face more feelings of isolation when they don't fit into their prescribed gender role, because they have less ways to resist. There by making them just as oppressed as marginalized groups.