Gender Expression, Violence, and Bullying Victimization

Findings from probability samples of high school students in four US school districts
March 2018

This study is the first to examine gender expression and bullying in racially and ethnically diverse populations of urban high school students in San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Broward County, Florida. The study was published in the Journal of School Health in March 2018.

  • Allegra R. Gordon
    Research Scientist, Harvard Medical School
  • Kerith J. Conron
    Research Director
  • Jerel P. Calzo
    Associate Professor, San Diego State University
  • Matthew T. White
    Instructor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Sari L. Reisner
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
  • S. Bryn Austin
    Professor, Harvard Chan School of Public Health
Gender expression was measured by asking students how they thought people at school would describe their appearance, style, or mannerisms.
The most gender-nonconforming (GNC) students reported higher levels of bullying and more school absences than their non-GNC peers.
Thirty-one states do not have laws that specifically protect students from bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
Data Points
of highly GNC boys reported having been in a fight in the past year
of highly GNC girls reported having been in a fight in the past year
greater likelihood of highly GNC girls being victimized with a weapon compared to moderately GNC girls
Gender Expression, Violence, and Bullying Victimization