Prejudices against gender non-conformity drive school-related gender-based violence in Viet Nam

10 March 2017

A 2016 study on school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) in Viet Nam reveals that stereotypes around femininity and masculinity, and prejudices against gender non-conformity, are the main causes that motivate gender-based violence in schools.

Data collected from teachers and students shows that male students tend to engage in violence and bullying as a means to assert their masculine gender identity. Those who do not express their masculinity in accordance with gender stereotypes, but appear to be ‘flamboyant’, ‘weak’ or ‘gentle’, often get nicknames and are excluded.

As a result, among the 51.9 %  of  all  students who reported  having  experienced  at  least  one  kind  of  violent  behaviour  in  the  last  six  months, self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender  (LGBT) studentswere found at higher risk of victimisation and exposure to all kinds of violence, particularly  more ‘feminine’  same  sex  attracted  males  and  gender  non-conforming/ transgender  youth.  71 % of LGBT students had been physically abused, and 72.2 % had been verbally abused.

The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Training of Viet Nam, with support from UNESCO and UNGEI.

Link to the study report: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002469/246927E.pdf