School Psychology Forum

The Importance of Challenging Hegemonic Masculinity in Preventing School Violence

Eliza A. Dragowski & María R. Scharrón-del Río

pp. 10-27

School Psychologists as Allies and Advocates for the LGBTQ Community

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ABSTRACT: In this article we argue that efforts to eradicate school violence should include an understanding of the complex social, cultural, and historical contexts in which violence is perpetrated. Specifically, we assert that the production and perpetuation of hegemonic/dominant masculinity plays a pivotal role in various forms of aggression and violence in schools. We summarize the literature that shows connections between expressions of dominant masculinity and violence occurring in schools, as well as research showing the pernicious effects of dominant masculinity on students and school communities. Finally, we propose that mediating school violence requires recognition, deconstruction, and resistance to the social norms surrounding veneration of hegemonic masculinity. We conclude with a discussion of challenges and some practical solutions for engaging in this type of work.