What happens when you ask a boy to slap a girl? In a social experiment that highlights the subject of violence against women and demonstrates that violence is a learned behavior, Italian children react to being asked just that.
In the experiment, Italian video journalist Luca Lavarone introduced a few boys, aged 7-11, to Martina, a young girl who has a giggly, adoring effect on all them. When asked to caress her or make a funny face for her, the boys do not hesitate.
However, when asked to slap her, they all look surprised and confused. The boys seem to search for a reason and give side-ways glances that reveal their bewilderment. They all eventually refuse to slap her. One boy answers, “Girls shouldn’t be hit, not even with a flower. Or a bouquet of flowers,” and another asserts that he is, "against violence."
“As a newspaper, we thought it was important to raise awareness on domestic abuse that perpetuates in the social silence,” Francesco Piccinini, director of Fanpage.it, wrote to ABC News. With more than 25 million views since it was published on YouTube at the beginning of January, it’s safe to say the video’s success has broken that silence not only in Italy, but around the world.
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