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ISSN: 2690-5752

Journal of Anthropological and Archaeological Sciences

Mini Review(ISSN: 2690-5752)

Clapping Games on You Tube: A Construction Tool of Gender Violence and Other Types in the Child Stage Volume 5 - Issue 3

Joanna Riera and Jenny Cubells Serra*

  • Department of Social Psychology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

Received:September 27, 2021   Published: October 11, 2021

Corresponding author: Jenny Cubells Serra, Department of Social Psychology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, UAB, Campus UAB. Edifici B. Bellaterra, Spain

DOI: 10.32474/JAAS.2021.05.000213


Abstract PDF


This article uses virtual ethnography to analyse the children’s repertoire of 382 versions of Clapping games in Spanish as a popular activity transmitted by the girls themselves on YouTube and seen around the world. Examine the themes related to violence in their narratives through a categorical semantic analysis with Atlas-ti 8. The results show the relevance of girls as active agents in the co-construction of violence and the importance of Clapping games as a popular agent.


Boys and girls have the ability to subtly interpret their environment and position themselves critically with respect to ways of life, as thinking subjects and participants in the production, planning and circulation of knowledge (DE&I). Many employers are struggle with each topic individually. However, these topics are not as separate and distinct as many perceive. With the Biden Administration’s recent policy statement regarding mandatory COVID vaccination [1], many employers, when mandated, may experience high rates of turnover in unvaccinated populations [2]. The CDC [3] notes that full vaccination rates are lowest in communities in color. As a comparison, the CDC data indicates that those identifying as Caucasian have a fully vaccinated rate of 61.4%. The next highest category was Hispanic/Latino with a fully vaccinated rate of 16.7%. The Black/NonHispanic fully vaccinated rate was 10%, whereas Asian/NonHispanic was 6.4%. Finally, the American Indian/Alaska Native fully vaccinated rate was 1%. Employment law breaks discriminatory practices into either intentional, as measured by disparate treatment, or unintentional, as measured by disparate or adverse impact [4]. Adverse impact is the application of a universal business practice that disproportionately impacts one group over another. For example, in the 1950s, law enforcement hiring practices mandated an officer height of 5’8” [5]. This universal standard was applied to all candidates. However, women and some persons of color were disproportionately selected out due to average height that was less than the standard. The standard for determining adverse impact is the four-fifths or 80% rule [6]. According to this standard when a minority group, as measured by rate, is less than 80% of the majority group rate, there is prima facie evidence of adverse (disparate) impact. Applying this standard to vaccination rates under the assumption that the vaccine refusal rate is standard across groups, the prima facie rate for disparate impact is 49.12%. As previously noted, the highest fully vaccination rate for communities of color is 16.7%.

At a time when DE&I initiatives are of primary concern to all employers-public and private sector-a universal vaccination mandate under the threat of termination may not be the best policy when considered light of DE&I initiatives. The underlying assumption that termination rates based upon vaccination rates mirrors the fully vaccination rate is most-likely assumption. However, there is reason to question this assumption based on the CDC data. The CDC data also contains vaccination rates for partially vaccinated in the last 14 days. The partially vaccinated data calls into question the termination rate assumption. For example, 52% of partially vaccinated were Caucasian, whereas Hispanic/Latino respondents were 21.9% with Black respondents approximating 14%. Both American Indian/Alaska Native and Asian showed partial rates that were less than the fully vaccinated rate. The additional data does indicate prima facie disparate impact. Therefore, the question may be better framed as how much adverse impact instead of if adverse impact. While HR departments are struggling with DE&I initiatives with the intention of creating a fairer and more inclusive work environment. The Biden Administration may be creating a headache for these departments with the conflicting direction of vaccine mandates. What is an HR department to do? It is better to not mandate vaccines and have employees face weekly testing instead of mandate with termination. The reputational effects and financial penalties are much greater for discrimination charges than vaccine. Once the HR department is aware of the possible disparate impact, one could argue that the discrimination is no longer unintentional but intentional. This foreknowledge implies a moral obligation to resist. The foreknowledge that a group may be disproportionately affect by a human resource policy, the executives are under a moral obligation not to comply.


A thematic analysis is carried out for data collection, based on the method of Vázquez (1994) and Gómez Mendoza (2000), complying with the following phases: a) pre-analysis, b) coding and c) categorization of the units thematic. Microsoft Excel 2010 is used for data collection and Atlas-ti 8 for the coding and categorization process.

Clapping games corpus

382 versions of Clapping games are analyzed, concentrated in 141 videos that followed established criteria. Of which, 11 videos are from the year 2014, 22 videos from the year 2015, 34 videos from the year 2016, 29 videos from the year 2017, 23 videos from the year 2018, 24 videos from the year 2019. The videos can be played at any time, which explains that not all views must have been made in the same year as the video upload to YouTube. Some of the videos obtained few views (the least viewed video was from 2019 with eight views), others obtained many (the most visited video with 3,855,995 views, in 2016). The average number of views was 117,168 views per video. The number of participants per video ranges from 1 to 6, most are between 2 and 3 participants. Although boys also appear, it is not usual (only in 6 videos of the 141 total). By the fact of being popularly transmitted, there are several versions of a same Clapping game (with textual, melodic or gestural changes). Despite this, certain versions are categorized as the same song in order to facilitate the analysis in this research. The most reproduced were the following: Chocolate (along with versions of it, called: Mariposa, Chocofresa, Elefante, Sacapuntas with 55 playbacks. Don Federico with 21 playbacks; Homero (other versions: Picachu, Martillo, Simpson, La muerte, Al revés) with 17 playbacks; Frutillita (other versions: Fresita, Hueso Obama, Hueso duro, Helado de cereza, Gelatina de cereza) with 13 playbacks. Barbie (other versión: Don Pepe) with 13 playbacks; Pepito fue a la China (other versions: Ayer fui a la China, Yo me fui, Pepito nació en París) with 13 playbacks.


Among other categories, violence is one of the most prominent (It appears in 40% of the 382 versions of Clapping games). In the study, we found the following sub-categories: gender violence, structural violence, child abuse, animal abuse, misogyny, racism, punishment for failure. Among them, the action of killing appeared in 17%.

Gender violence

Gender violence is presented by men towards women, and in some cases, it ends with murder, always male to female: “Don Federico killed her wife, made her into mincemeat and put her in the frying pan. The people passing by smelled of roast meat, it was Don Federico’s wife.” (Song: Don Federico). In some cases, they give an explanation related to economic aspects: “Don Pepe and his belly killed his wife because she had no money to pay for a train.” (Song: Don Pepe y su barriga). Other times it is justified by bad behavior of the woman according to the hegemonic role of her, that is contemplated in the love relationship: “I bring a mini skirt; my boyfriend scolds me. He asks me some questions and I answer him like this: Oh daddy!” (Song: Me subo a la moto). There is a sample of abuse exercised by men towards women: “Last night I went to the party and a boy kissed me. He slapped me and it was all over.” (Song: Frutillita). In other versions of the song, the same abuse appears but the woman rebels, punishing him for it and subverting her hegemonic role: “Last night I went to a party and a boy kissed me, I slapped him, and it was all over.” (Song: Frutillita)

In some videos, the girls show sad gestures (facial expression, shaking their fists as if they were wiping tears) at the words “and it’s all over”. Which would express an attribution of the action of the slap and its consequence, showing guilt about it through tears? Another explanation would refer to a strategy within the game of seduction. In others, they show a determined attitude towards the resolution of their rebellion without a facial expression that leads to sadness or seduction.

There is an isolated case of family violence in which the woman appears killing the man. It is not about her husband or her love relationship, but about her father: “Doña Margarita daughter of a Moorish king, who killed her father with a golden knife.” (Song: Doña Margarita)

Structural violence

This violence appears subjecting women to a role that, according to the text, goes against their own interests. This role is related to the position of passive women in domestic care in the private sphere at home in front of the outside sphere, linking her to marriage and motherhood. The woman reveals herself to this by instrumentalizing violence to transfer into her the anger and injustice that she feels at the imposition of that role.

“I have to iron; I have to wash (...) and I have to kill my husband.” (Song: Un marinerito)

“I’m not marrying that animal; I’m going to throw it away.” (Song: Un marinerito)

“Prick, vaccine, the child is in the crib baptized by the priest. The child in the trash ¡Rotter! “ (Song: Teresa quería ser). In an isolated case, the text of a song expresses that “children do not cry” and that doing so is shameful for being a crying child. In the song there is a kid who has been beaten and has ended up crying. But the importance is not in that first emotion (crying) before the slap but in a second emotion that appears before the first: shame expressed with tears for the very fact of crying. “The kid was crying in his neighborhood (...) because they slapped him, and he couldn’t bear to be made to cry.” (Song: El chavo)

Child abuse

Child abuse is almost always generated by women, so childcare is directly related to this category. These women are mothers, although in some isolated cases they are caregivers or other relatives (aunts). In the same way that happens with gender violence, abuse is sometimes justified:

“I break the bottle, my mother hits me, I hit her.” (Song: Me subo a la cama)

“Don Pepe and his belly killed his wife because she had no money to catch the train. There was a girl on the train and the girl had a baby. The baby fell off and the girl fainted. Don Pepe picked it up and the girl thanked him.” (Song: Don Pepe).

After the phrase “and the girl thanked him” normally the participants kiss each other twice, while holding hands and saying “kiss, kiss”. In the latter case, the girl thanks him for Don Pepe picking up the baby that she herself has dropped. At the beginning of the song Don Pepe has killed his wife to catch a train and in that train there was the girl. They meet her when she drops the baby. She thanks him by giving him a kiss next. One possible interpretation is the chance meeting of the girl and Don Pepe; another would be based on the intentions of both Don Pepe in helping her and the girl with Don Pepe, instrumentalizing violence towards the baby, in order to allow herself to be seduced by him. She takes advantage of the passive role and the lack of skill assigned by the hegemony to achieve her goal (Don Pepe) by making her believe that she needs the active attitude and the skill of the man to solve her problems.

In other cases there is no direct explanation for the abuse. What can be assumed aggressiveness as a norm, by discipline or by the condition of submission of childhood with respect to adulthood:

“When I was a child, they beat me.” (Song: Cuando yo era)

“The second (daughter) was Lisa, mistreated by her mother, she goes to school as a young girl (Song: Simpsons)

Other times, child abuse is shown as abnormal, associated with mental illness:

“My sister had a son and the crazy woman killed him. She made it into mincemeat and then she ate it.” (Song: Frutillita)

An example of mistreatment by a father towards his son is one of the few cases in which mistreatment is exercised by a person of the male gender:

“The first was Bart, mistreated by his father.” (Song: Simpsons)

There is a last case of violence linked to gender discourse: misogyny.

“Candela died because of how beautiful she was.” (Song: Se murió Candela)

Other types of violence

Animal abuse occurs from people to domestic animals (cats and dogs) and farm animals (cows):

“An old woman killed a cat with the tip of her shoe. Poor old woman, poor cat, poor tip of the shoe.” (Song: En la calle 24). “A witch killed a cat, on the shoe count.” (Song: En la calle 24). “The other day I came across a cow. I shot her twice / they killed her ”(Song: Albaricoque). “In the yard of my case there is a dead dog. He who bites five eats it dead.” (Song: En el patio de mi casa). As can be seen, the female roles as animal killers stand out: the participant, the witch or the old woman and other cases without a defined murderer. Racism appears only in a Clapping game, being the participant the murderer. Although there are many songs that refer to other nationalities (Chinese, gypsy, etc.) there is no violence between them. This is the same song in which the misogyny appears:“Bogotín, Bogotá. There is a Moorish in the city. Let him take off, let him take off, they are going to run him over. By the A, he is already leaving; by the E, he already left; by the I is already here; by the O he already died; by the U was you.” (Song: Se murió Candela). The punishment for failure is given most of the time at the end of the song as part of the game. The punishers are the participants themselves or animals considered dangerous (spider, snakes) towards the losing participant. “If you repeat me, you will lose.” “Whoever laughs or moves, I’ll give him a pinch or a smack.” “The spider goes up, the knife sticks you in, the blood goes down and gives you the chill.” (Song: American Tomatoes)

“In the field there is a snake that bites us, if you leave it will chase you.” There are cases of post-mortem action. In the following example, the doctor prescribes a drug to Don Ramón once he is already dead.

“They killed Don Ramón. They shot him in the heart. The doctor prescribed to him: orange, pineapple and lemon.” (Song: Naranja, piña y limón). Another example of post-mortem action: “When I was dead, dead, dead, I sucked, sucked, sucked.” (Song: Cuando yo era). Finally, we found a unique case about food-related death. We can see the use of a hyperbole to exaggerate of meaning: “Little Orange, you go through a half dining room. Don’t kill it with a knife, kill it with a fork.” (Song: Naranjita).


Violence is one of the most common themes in Clapping games. [16] emphasized the messages that the popular and traditional song contains, legitimizing violence, physical or verbal abuse, in an open and explicit way, or in a hidden way. As can be seen, Clapping games follow the same pattern, in many cases relating love with violence. In fact, [13] discovered that love, constructed as an intense and irrational feeling, justifies the existence of intense emotions expressed in violent practices, such as jealousy, blackmail and marital control. [14] has already highlighted death as a common topic in Spanish romance, highlighting its importance in the concern of the collective social imaginary on this subject [17,18]. This article also highlights other types of violence that appear in Clapping games which are structural violence, misogyny, animal abuse, racism, punishment for failure, post-death actions and food-related death.


This article shows for the first time a categorical analysis of thematic content, linked to violence, of the Spanish-speaking Clapping games that appear in South America and Spain, through 382 versions uploaded on YouTube (2014-2019). Clapping games are a clear example of the active role of girls in the construction of violence through a hegemonic treatment or its subversion.


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