Author(s) Kimmel, Michael S.
Mahler, Matthew
Year 2003
Title Adolescent Masculinity, Homophobia, and Violence - Random School Shootings, 1982-2001
Published in American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 46, No. 10
Pages 1439–1458
DOI 10.1177/0002764203046010010
Abstract Since 1982, there have been 28 cases of random school shootings in American high schools and middle schools. The authors find (a) that the shootings were not a national problem but a series of local problems that occurred in “red states” or counties (places that voted Republican in the 2000 election); (b) that most of the boys who opened fire were mercilessly and routinely teased and bullied and that their violence was retaliatory against the threats to manhood; (c) that White boys in particular might be more likely than African American boys to randomly open fire; and (d) that the specific content of the teasing and bullying is homophobia. A link between adolescent masculinity, homophobia, and violence is proposed. Finally, the authors offer a few possible explanations as to how most boys who are teased and bullied achieve the psychological resilience that enables them to weather adolescence without recourse to random school violence.
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