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Disdainful Hookups: a Powerful Social Determinant of Health.

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The health consequences of gender violence, a global health and social problem, are increasingly studied. Among its roots, research has identified a coercive dominant discourse imposing the idea that masculinities and relationships marked by abuse and domination are more attractive than egalitarian ones. To prevent the health consequences of gender violence, it is necessary to understand the factors that lead many adolescents to fall into it. This study aims to identify the specific mechanisms by which the coercive dominant discourse manifests in the peer group and its consequences for adolescents. Forty-one 15- and 16-year-old female adolescents from three high schools in Barcelona participated in the study. Eight communicative discussion groups were conducted to deepen on participants' perceptions regarding how peer interactions promote the learning of attraction to violence in sexual-affective relationships. The results show that the participants perceived and experienced different types of coercion to have violent relationships in their peer group interactions. Those interactions fostered the reproduction of the association between sexual-affective attraction and males with aggressive attitudes and behaviors. Many peers coerce others to have disdainful hookups which have very negative health consequences for the victims, including suicidal ideation and committing suicide. Some peer groups become a risk developmental context for female adolescents as far as they foster the coercive dominant discourse, push some young women to engage in violent sporadic relationships, and even harass some others afterwards. This clarifies the importance of peer group-level interventions when addressing the health consequences of gender violence in adolescence.


Funder: Universitat de Barcelona


Adolescence, Coercive dominant discourse, Gender violence, Peer group, Peer harassment, Violent sporadic relationships, Male, Adolescent, Humans, Female, Social Determinants of Health, Violence, Sexual Behavior, Aggression, Coercion, Peer Group, Crime Victims

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J Urban Health

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC