Date of Conferral
James L. Carroll
Educators perceive female bullies differently than male bullies. Despite evidence that bullying is a serious problem within schools in the United States, there is little research which focuses on how educators perceive differences and similarities of adolescent bullies based upon the gender of the bully. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine how educators perceive male and female bullies when they are described as exhibiting identical behavior. Goffman's theory of frames formed the theoretical foundation for this study. The independent variable of this study was gender of bully, and the three dependent variables were internalizing behavior, externalizing behavior, and social skills. Seventy-nine educators read one of two scenarios, featuring either a male bully or a female bully and then completed the Clinical Assessment of Behavior - Teacher Rating Form to reflect how they perceived the personality of the bully depicted in the scenario. The data collected were statistically analyzed using Analysis of Variance, Chi-square tests of independence and regression analyses. The results showed that educators do perceive male and female bullying behavior differently. The female bully was seen as more pathological, displaying higher levels of internalizing and externalizing behaviors whereas the male bully was perceived as exhibiting normal levels of both internalizing and externalizing behavior. There was no difference in perceived social skills. Implications for positive social change are that the results could be used to sensitize teachers about the importance of considering gender issues when intervening in bullying incidents.