how bullying is linked to sexual harassment

research shows that fifth and sixth graders in the U.S. who bully students often use homophobic name-calling such as “gay” or “fag,” especially when boys do not act masculine and girls do not act feminine. We found that such homophobic language is used to assert power over other students.

What is worse, my research shows that homophobic name-calling sets the stage for the development of sexual harassment. For example, when youth are called “gay” or “fag,” they start to sexually harass members of the opposite sex to demonstrate that they are not gay.