The Universitat develops an App to identify sexist conducts and avoid gender violence among adolescents

  • March 6th, 2017
Research team of the App

A research team of the Universitat de València has developed a mobile game that promotes healthy, equal and respectful love relationships between adolescents; dismantles the myth of romantic love and helps to detect violent and sexist conducts. The game is called Liad@s and it is available for Android and IOS. It has been developed by a multidisciplinary research team of the Universitat de València and it is addressed to young people between the ages of 12 and 18.

This is the first and unique mobile phone application in the world on a game format with preventive, socialising and educational features. This app is developed with all safety guarantees for virtual navigation, according to the personal data protection laws for minors and people over the age of 18.

Liad@s is composed of a transversal group of teachers and researchers of the Universitat de València linked to several areas, headed by José Javier Navarro, from the Department of Social Work and Social Services of the Faculty of Social Sciences; Amparo Oliver, from the Department of Methodology of Behavioural Sciences Methodology of the Faculty of Psychology; and Pedro Morillo, from the Department of  Informatics Engineering of the School of Engineering; apart from the research technician assigned to the project, Ángela Carbonell and Jéssica Llácer.

The aim of this app is to encourage healthy love relationships, dismantle the false myths about romantic love and consequently, avoid sexist conducts and gender violence among adolescents. It is free and is available for Android and IOS. Users have valued this app with 4.9/5 since it has been tested in some Valencian educational centres. This is the first and unique mobile phone application in the world on a game format with preventive, socialising and educational features.

Liad@s is a competitive project whose development is thanks to the call for R+D, ‘Valoritza’.  In this day and age, the team together with the Departments of Education and Equality is implementing the project that evaluate the effectiveness of this app. To encourage this game, the team that has started it up, suggests winning tablets and Google play cards.

Educational contributions and basis of the game
The game is focused on the myths of romantic love (MRL) and sexist conducts (benevolent sexism and hostile sexism). 

On the one hand, the subjects associated with romantic love are socially and historically built and the society internalises them unconsciously so they have an influence on the beliefs and acts in the field of emotional relationships. Therefore, those subjects, are useful for people to judge what is acceptable and normal in the infatuation or love relationship and what is foreseeable or desirable.  Nevertheless it raises unreal expectations and instils to everyone the prototype of a “perfect” relationship.  

On the other hand, sexism can be identified as gender discrimination for judging one inferior to the other, considering women as the inferior group and establishing misconceptions. 

Pilot experience
The project has been carried out during this 2016/2017 academic year with more than 1,000 students of secondary schools of Valencia, apart from other 150 minors between the ages of 12 and 18 that are in reception centres of the Department for Equality and Inclusive Policies, since there are more vulnerabilities in the lives of these profiles and can determine their love relationships.  

It has been introduced in some educational centres of the Valencian towns such as Utiel, Requena, Canals, Villar del Arzobispo, Manises, Massamagrell, Foios, Alzira, Xàtiva, Paterna, Burjassot, Mislata or Valencia.

Until now, it has been implemented the PHASE 1 of initial evaluation and diagnose; PHASE 2 in which it is carried out the experimental intervention by using the app, and those days it is being completed PHASE 3 in which it is evaluated the tool through verification and gameplay, with the aim of obtaining the final results and the differences between the search parties.

The dynamic of the game
Once the user is registered, the game starts and it appears a roulette with different colours.  Each colour corresponds to a different tests. The roulette has a pulsemeter that will determine the square in which the player falls into. The player will have to gain 4 miniroulettes that will be submitted in the card - aim.  So, the different tests, according to each colour, includes guessing the correct answer, ‘the ecologic love’ in which the player has to recycle the positive messages and throw out the negative ones; exploding the balloons that have bad words, and the test in which the players have to decide if the WhatsApp conversation that appears is either positive or negative.  There are also tests about songs, in which you have to identify which is the implicit message, among others.

To encourage the game, those people who play and score more than 2 million points participate at a raffle; but that person that have more points, will receive a direct prize, a tablet.