Research article

Gender violence among youth: an effective program of preventive socialization to address a public health problem

  • Received: 08 November 2020 Accepted: 30 December 2020 Published: 04 January 2021
  • Gender violence among youth is a worldwide public health problem. Youth is increasingly exposed to violence in sexual-affective relationships, both stable and sporadic, and the age of victimization decreases. This adverse life experience affects many areas of youth's life, such as education, social relationships and, especially, their physical and mental health, with consequences that can be very harmful in the short and long-term. This situation has given rise to many anti-violence programs for adolescents and youth, yet as some worldwide prestigious organizations, like the American Psychological Association, have pointed out, many of those programs do not work. In this article, we present a program of preventive socialization of gender violence addressed to adolescents that has proven effectiveness. The program was composed of seven interventions based on the social impact of the evidence on preventive socialization of gender violence. It was applied at a group level in groups of 15–16 years old teenagers in three high schools in Barcelona. The interventions were conducted over a period of one school year and shared the trait of discussing research evidence on preventive socialization of gender violence with the youth through egalitarian dialogue. These interventions have proved to have a preventive effect of gender violence victimization on the participating teenagers by raising their critical consciousness regarding a coercive dominant discourse in society that associates attractiveness and violence, supporting the transformation of their memories of violent sexual-affective relationships, and providing them tools to better analyze their and their friends' sexual-affective relationships along the lines of identifying gender violence and being more prepared to help others in this regard. The manuscript describes every intervention applied.

    Citation: Sandra Racionero-Plaza, Itxaso Tellado, Antonio Aguilera, Mar Prados. Gender violence among youth: an effective program of preventive socialization to address a public health problem[J]. AIMS Public Health, 2021, 8(1): 66-80. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2021005

    Related Papers:

  • Gender violence among youth is a worldwide public health problem. Youth is increasingly exposed to violence in sexual-affective relationships, both stable and sporadic, and the age of victimization decreases. This adverse life experience affects many areas of youth's life, such as education, social relationships and, especially, their physical and mental health, with consequences that can be very harmful in the short and long-term. This situation has given rise to many anti-violence programs for adolescents and youth, yet as some worldwide prestigious organizations, like the American Psychological Association, have pointed out, many of those programs do not work. In this article, we present a program of preventive socialization of gender violence addressed to adolescents that has proven effectiveness. The program was composed of seven interventions based on the social impact of the evidence on preventive socialization of gender violence. It was applied at a group level in groups of 15–16 years old teenagers in three high schools in Barcelona. The interventions were conducted over a period of one school year and shared the trait of discussing research evidence on preventive socialization of gender violence with the youth through egalitarian dialogue. These interventions have proved to have a preventive effect of gender violence victimization on the participating teenagers by raising their critical consciousness regarding a coercive dominant discourse in society that associates attractiveness and violence, supporting the transformation of their memories of violent sexual-affective relationships, and providing them tools to better analyze their and their friends' sexual-affective relationships along the lines of identifying gender violence and being more prepared to help others in this regard. The manuscript describes every intervention applied.



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    Acknowledgments



    The program of interventions reported in this article has been developed in the framework of the Research and Development Project MEMO4LOVE: Social interactions and dialogs that transform memories and promote sexual-affective relationships free of violence from secondary schools, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (2016–2019). Project reference: EDU2016-75370-R.

    Conflict of interest



    All authors declare no conflict of interest in this paper.

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