Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Shoved, Groped and Pestered for Sex: A Typical Day for Girls: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Shoved, Groped and Pestered for Sex: A Typical Day for Girls: News

Article excerpt

Harassment such as 'daggering' is routine by Year 8, research finds.

Girls as young as 12 are bombarded on a daily basis with requests to send boys photos of their breasts or to perform blow jobs on them on camera. And many girls consider being groped and dry-humped by boys an inevitable part of the school day.

Academics from the University of London carried out qualitative interviews with Year 8 and Year 10 pupils in two London schools. Their research, published this week, reveals the proliferation among teenagers of "sexting", the sending of sexualised text messages, and "daggering", boys forcibly thrusting their penises at girls from behind.

The researchers have called on teachers to address such harassment directly, recognising that both perpetrator and victim could be sitting in the same classroom.

Cherelle, a 13-year-old girl, talked about how she could not expect to walk past boys in the school corridor without being groped by them: "You walk past, and a boy will pass and they will squeeze your bum or something, and just touch your tits."

Frequently, this goes further, with girls pushed down in the corridor by a group of boys and "daggered". Thirteen-year-old Jodie said: "Most of them will be all on you at the same time, and ... you will be, like, 'get off me', and they won't get off you, and that is when it becomes serious."

The boys confirmed these reports, but insisted that it was not serious. "It is not like rape or anything," one boy said.

Jessica Ringrose of the Institute of Education, University of London, who led the research, said that there was a "deeply rooted notion that girls' and young women's bodies are somehow the property of boys and young men".

This could be seen, too, in the daily requests girls received to send naked photos to boys. Boys regularly solicited images of a girl's naked body, with the boy's name written on it in black marker pen. One girl sent a photograph of her naked breasts, with the words "Jason owns me" written on them.

Year 8 pupil Claire said: "If they want a blow job, they will ask every single day until you say yes." Many boys use such images - showing a girl's head and a boy's penis - as their BlackBerry Messenger profile pictures.

"Technology allows people's inhibitions and barriers to break down," said John Lloyd of the PSHE Association. …

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