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PLAY IT FOR CHANGE- Research report on the prevention of gender-based violence through audio-visual media and music

The report presents results of the research on the impact of gender stereotypes in audio-visual media and music on youth attitudes and behaviours towards gender-based violence (GBV), and the assessment of the needs of teachers to prevent GBV.

A total of 29 high-school teachers/and school pedagogues/psychologists and 95 students from four high-schools (i.e. Grammar school Bjelovar; Commercial and Trade School Bjelovar; Secondary School Čazma; Secondary school Ivan Švear Ivanić Grad) participated in the research. The methodology used combined qualitative and quantitative methods in the collection of evidences in the four selected schools. In May 2018, focus group discussions with students and teachers were conducted. Additionally, a questionnaire was administered to a group of students as a complement to the qualitative data.

Adolescents' preferences regarding music encompass various music genres but the most popular among the respondents seems to be turbo-folk music. Compared to their parents' generations, this generation of 15 -17 year olds have different stance towards music experience and consumption. Nowadays teenagers' music affiliation is not visible in dressing and looks so one can wear AC/DC T-shirt and listen to turbo folk music. Music consumption now happens digitally but watching the video clips is not so common experience among youth. Music is evaluated as being important in their everyday lives and teenagers are especially attracted to the rhythm and lyrics while other aspects of music such as appearance of the singer or videos remain less important. Regarding the presentation of women and men in songs adolescents noticed that women are presented as sexy and pleasing men while men are presented as being powerful and protectors of women.

Gender-based violence is the problem that teachers and educational professionals encounter on every-day basis while working with adolescents. Teachers' opinion is that adolescents do not recognize certain behaviors as violent and are not able to critically asses the situation. Furthermore, physical violence is rare but there are many different forms of violence that teenagers don't recognize as violence such as controlling behaviours, emotional violence, jealous behaviour, blackmails, sexual violence (pressure to have sex because he threatens to find another girlfriend). Teachers view is that music can be an effective tool for the prevention of GBV, especially music with anti-violence lyrics and messages.

Besides research results, the report brings recommendations for work on the prevention of teen-dating violence.

Research is part of the project "Play it for Change- Raising awareness and empowerement of girls and boys for the prevention of gender-based violence through audio-visual media and music".The project is being delivered by a partnership of organisations across six European countries: Fundació Surt (Catalonia, Spain), KMOP (Greece), The Peace Institute (Slovenia), CESI (Croatia), Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (Cyprus) and Feminoteka (Poland). The lead partner is Fundació Surt (Catalonia, Spain).