Boys who self-harm

Posted: June 9, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I’m pulling together some of the findings from the research to add to the animated film; loads of really interesting stuff and I’m looking forward to spending more time in the next couple of months writing about this.

As the film has two main characters who are boys, I’m looking especially at what those who took part in the project have to say about gender and self-harm. Here is a summary:

1. People usually agreed that self-harm was something that girls did more than boys

2. BUT – most people also said that this might be because boys are less likely to tell other people if they do self-harm

Of those who have taken part in the research, most of those who said they had self-harmed were girls. But a lot of them were boys.

5 interviews (2 boys, 3 girls)

89 responses to the survey (58 girls, 23 boys, 6 transgender/genderqueer/genderfluid)

Although the sample in this research is in no way representative, the numbers of boys and girls saying they had self-harmed is pretty similar to what bigger surveys tell us. In the SASH Research Project sample, 26% of survey respondents said they were boys.The most recent data from Scotland found that 23% of all those saying they had self-harmed were boys. An older study from England found 25% of people who said they self-harmed were boys. Definitely more girls than boys are saying they have self-harmed, but still a significant proportion are boys. However, read any article in the news about self-harm, and you are likely to get the idea that self-harm is mainly a ‘girl thing’. The news features almost always talk to a girl who has self-harmed, and highlight that far more girls than boys self-harm.

But, here is what Aaron, one of the SASH participants, had to say:

“Boys don’t talk about it, or show it much, like, or are as open to, like, self harm.  They won’t tell anyone or show anyone.  They’ll deny it if they’re asked”

I’m going to be looking more at whether or not boys and girls have said different things in their interviews and survey responses. More soon.

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