The UK National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has defined sexual bullying as “any bullying behaviour, whether physical or non-physical, that is based on a person’s sexuality or gender”. It can also be the use of derogatory sexual words to put someone down or spreading rumours of a sexual nature about them. The most common verbal insults (and it is no coincidence the ones that cause the most offence) towards boys tend to fall into the homophobic category. Insults toward girls tend to be in relation to their sexual status and tend to have overtones of promiscuity attached.
In it’s most extreme form sexual bullying can include inappropriate touching or activities that would normally be classified as sexual assault.
An exact definition of what is or is not included in sexual bullying can be problematic as many forms of sexual bullying takes place within relationships. In this regard, sexual bulling can be different from other bullying interactions.