As Cambodia confronts the implications of recent genocide and traditional gender norms, gender-based violence is increasingly important in Cambodian policy and practice. Typically, research focuses on adolescence or gender-based violence in secondary schools, however, we argue that understanding the factors and processes leading to the perpetuation and acceptance of gender-based violence begins in primary school settings with gender-based aggression. A case study of four target schools in and around Siem Reap, Cambodia indicates that gender-based aggression is socialized through the normalization of aggression as play and flirting or teasing and that power, physicality, and blame lay the foundation for the perpetuation and acceptance of gender-based aggression. Additionally, although boys are also victims of gender-based aggression in primary schools, silence surrounding their victimization supports these socialization processes. These findings have important implications for understanding the processes of gender-based aggression in young children and how these processes could lead to gender-based violence in later years.
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The present research was funded by Plan International Cambodia.
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Grace, K., Seng, T. & Eng, S. The Socialization of Gender-Based Aggression: A Case Study in Cambodian Primary Schools. Sex Roles 83, 85–100 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-019-01091-3
- Aggressive behavior
- Elementary schools