AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
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AbstractThis paper explores the association between the gender rules operating within schools, harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) between pupils and the ways safety is created in these spaces. The ability and responsibility of school institutions to inform gender rules within schools is of particular focus. The paper draws on data from a mixed-methods study exploring HSB in seven secondary schools in England. Findings indicate that gendered rules not only play a role in explaining HSB in schools, they also inform discourses of safety and influence pupils’ attempts to subvert gendered harm. Drawing on research on local space, it is suggested that school institutions can work to maintain or challenge the gendered rules between pupils, and subsequently, limit or provide effective options to create pupil safety. The paper argues that schools have a responsibility to construct safe spaces for pupils by challenging harmful gender norms and behaviour.
CitationWalker J (2020) 'Tough girls: gender performance and safety within schools', Children's Geographies, 20 (5), pp.549-562.
PublisherTaylor and Francis
SponsorsEsmee Fairbairn Foundation, Samworth Foundation and Trust London