In schools every year, young women are facing an increasing number of pressures at an alarmingly young age. According to several youth climate surveys, girls are now reporting higher rates of bullying victimization than boys. Nationwide, eight in ten girls have experienced sexual harassment at school, and rates of dating violence are increasing. Bullying and other pressures interfere with a student’s ability to successfully participate in academic and social activities. All students have the right to a safe and inclusive learning environment, but additional efforts must be made to address bullying among young women and their peer groups.
This course will examine the social pressures to which women are subjected on a daily basis and explore the educational environment through the lens of adolescent girls and their peers. Topics include the socially constructed standards of body image; gender inequity and double standards; the inner-politics of cliques; gossip; cyber-bullying; healthy relationships; and successful methods for confronting bullying behavior.
Activities in this course include the analysis of social theory, a study of issues facing teenage girls in today’s school systems, the application of evidence-based methods for confronting dating violence and relationships, and the development of resources for managing bullying behavior amongst female students and social groups.