GenderPAC Calls the “Boy Code” an Overlooked Factor in School Shooting Analysis
WASHINGTON (March 24, 2005) In the wake of the tragic school shootings by a teenage boy in Minnesota, academics and anti-violence experts have offered explanations that include family problems, poverty, Goth music and culture, and violence in the media, computer games and the Internet, and more. The experts are missing one crucial and overriding factor, GenderPAC said today: the codes of schoolyard masculinity and retaliatory violence.
Since 1982, there have been 29 school shootings, all by boys who had been mercilessly teased and bullied for being less than strong, sports-oriented or “masculine” by their peers and lived in communities that tolerated a violent code adolescent masculinity. For these young men, violence was the way to reassert their sense of autonomy, power and “manhood.” SUNY Stony Brook Sociology Professor Michael Kimmel, an expert in masculinities, has documented this consistent narrative in school shootings