Survey reveals young people’s attitudes to gender stereotypes and violence

31 March 2015

A survey of 3,000 young Australians aged 16-25 by Youth Action and the White Ribbon Foundation has revealed that the vast majority (over 90%) of young Australian people believe that “Guys and girls are equal to each other” and that a wide range of behaviours constitute domestic and dating violence, including constantly yelling at or putting down a partner, hitting or threatening to hurt a partner, and not allowing a partner to have their own money or see their family and friends. However some young people, particularly young men, agreed with statements supporting gender stereotypes and held “concerning” attitudes supporting violence. Nearly one-third (27.8%) of males agreed that “Girls like guys who are in charge of the relationship”; 18.8% agreed that “Men are supposed to be the head of the household and take control of the relationship”; and 14.6% agreed that “Men are usually better at more things than women”. In addition, males were more likely to believe that “It’s not always wrong to hit someone, sometimes they provoke it” (21.6%) and that “It may not be right, but threatening to hit someone gets you what you want” (14.2%). The survey results have been analysed in two reports by Dr Jesse Cale and Associate Professor Jan Breckenridge of the Gendered Violence Research Network at the University of New South Wales.

To access the reports, click here