Association between sexual behaviors, bullying victimization and suicidal ideation in a national sample of high school students: implications of a sexual double standard

Hailee K Dunn, Annie Gjelsvik, Deborah N Pearlman, Melissa A Clark
Women's Health Issues: Official Publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health 2014, 24 (5): 567-74

PURPOSE: The sexual double standard is the notion that women are more harshly judged for their sexual behaviors than men. The purpose of this study was to investigate if the sexual double standard could explain gender differences in bullying victimization among adolescents and the extent to which that relationship correlated with depression and suicidal ideation.

METHODS: Analyses were conducted using a sample of high school students (n = 13,065) from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a cross-sectional and national school-based survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data were assessed using multiple logistic regression, gender-stratified analyses, and interaction terms.

FINDINGS: Students who engaged in sexual intercourse (sexually active) had higher odds of being bullied. When this association was stratified by gender, odds of being bullying increased for girls (odds ratio [OR], 1.83; 95% CI, 1.58-2.13) and decreased for boys (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.77-1.16). Sexually active students who were bullied also displayed more than five times (OR, 5.65; 95% CI, 4.71-6.78) the adjusted odds of depression and three times (adjusted OR, 3.38; 95% CI, 2.65-4.32) the adjusted odds of suicidal ideation compared with students who reported neither of those behavioral characteristics. When stratified by gender, girls had slightly higher odds of depression and suicidal ideation but overall, the odds remained strong for both genders.

CONCLUSIONS: Results provide some evidence that a sexual double standard exists and may play a prominent role in bullying victimization among girls. Therefore, addressing the sexual double may be important to consider when tailoring school bullying intervention programs.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"