Are Females More Prone To Bullying?

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   This morning, I had to have some serious conversations with my students about a bullying situation that I have been watching unfold for the past couple of days.  It’s the typical situation where a new kid arrives at a school and is targeted by other kids who have been there for a long time.  Add the fact that they are females and that the new kid is beautiful and drawing the attention of the male students and you have a recipe for disaster.

    I enlisted the assistance of a lot of people to help me get this anti-bullying message out to my students including fellow staff members, parents of the children who were involved, and even older siblings of these girls.  As a united front, we met with a few classes and discussed with them the fact that we have a zero tolerance policy regarding bullying or any kind of violence or aggression in school.  Additionally, we talked to them about the dangers of being the victim of bullying such as low self-esteem and thoughts of suicide.  We even discussed how bullies often are very insecure and accost other people to make them feel better about themselves.

    By the end of the Pow Wow, we were all in tears and overcome with the emotions involved in having such a deep conversation.  I considered this exchange to be a success because many of the students who had participated in the bullying apologized for their behavior and were genuinely remorseful for their actions.  Only time will tell if their intentions were genuine and if they are going to change these negative behaviors.

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    As I write this, I can’t help thinking how sad it is that young girls are sucked into this vortex of wanting to compete negatively with one another and being so cruel to each other.  Instead of having a natural affinity for establishing a sisterhood or a sisterly bond, we strive to humiliate and destroy one another socially and emotionally.  This is especially true during the pre-teen and adolescent years.  It saddens me that many of these volatile relationships between women start at such an early age and set the tone for the interactions that they will have with other females as adults.

    I will be closely monitoring this situation with cautious optimism in the coming weeks.  My hope is that these young women will take responsibility for the error of their ways and mend fences instead of knocking each other down, metaphorically and literally.  Just the fact that they were receptive to talking about the issue and listening to each other makes me hopeful that we will find a resolution.  After all, as I tell all my students, “In life, you are probably not going to like everyone you meet.  However, it’s important that you still respect them especially if you expect to be respected as well.”

Let’s Discuss:  Why do you think bullying is more rampant among females than males?

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  1. I would never have thought that it would be more rampant among females. I thought that the guys would have been more into the competition etc. My 8yr old has encountered bullying in school. He’s autistic which makes him “different” but that doesn’t excuse the bullies. I’m happy you were able to diffuse the situation before it escalated.

  2. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    I am not surprised that it is girls who bully more. Girls can be so catty when you are in school..

  3. Amanda McMahon says

    my nephew is being bullied – i think there’s is more direct – as in fights, etc. But girls are called emotional when someone says something/makes fun of them, etc.

  4. I’m not sure that it is more rampant among females. My sons have been subjected to more bullying than my daughter was, actually. But in either case, it’s unacceptable and sad that children and adults feel they have to bully others. Lovely that you were able to confront the issue with a positive outcome. I agree, it’s so important to reach children before they bring these negative behaviors into adulthood. Kudos!

  5. Healy Harpster says

    I think because most of the girls liked to compare themselves to one another and some of the girls are mostly insecure.

  6. Oh my gosh GOOD FOR YOU for caring enough to take action!!! I love this post and I do hope the intervention will end with long-term positive results.

  7. Strange to see that girls more into bullies, it is probably more verbal than for boys, it is more physical. It is important to show how bullies end up if they are not going to stop.

  8. I think we are more catty, and take things to heart a lot more than men. Though I don’t see why it should be that way and why we can be so cutting to each other. x

  9. JadeLouise Designs says

    I think girls have so much pressure on them now to be “perfect” with appearance and acceptance with the way media is now. Not just magazines but all the movies that target younger audiences. They see it and think it is cool. or the right way to behave in those situations when they feel threatened. Add to that competition with other girls. And lack of self esteem it is a recipe for disaster.

  10. I agree with the comments that girls think they have to be perfect, as well as take alot more to heart than guys.

  11. Karen Hewitt says

    I think it more rampant with girls because boys are encouraged to get their frustrations out with different activities such as sports and even though girls are encouraged to take part in sports they are also expected to maintain a social standard, its harder to be queen bee rather than the jock of the school.

  12. I think girls bully predominantly because of the pressure to wear the right clothes, have the right hair, impress the right boys, etc. When I was a teacher, boys were bullied just as much, but it manifested itself in different ways. From my experience, boys were more likely to be pushed around physically and taunted for being “weak” or feminine, whereas girls were ostracized more on a social level. I found it easier to pick up on girls who bullied because of how they socially isolated certain kids. Boys were a little tougher to identify because they didn’t really talk much to each other anyways, and the physical bullying took place largely outside of my classroom.

    I applaud you for taking note of the situation and stepping in. Too often is bullying excused a a “kids will be kids” type thing, when it’s much more than that. We need to teach our kids that it’s wrong and can’t expect them to just know how to handle it.

  13. Tiffany Hathorn says

    Two words: Mean Girls.

  14. Daisy Tremorev says

    I’m not sure that one gender bullies more than another. As a grown adult that went to college for Engineering, being one of the few females, I ran into many males that were bullies. In any case, I agree that no one should bully others!

  15. I think females are more prone both bullying and be bullied.
    And not just in the teen years. Girls/women have an unfortunate tendency, maybe out
    of insecurity, to be “mean girls.”

  16. Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen says

    I honestly wish I knew. I was a victim of bullying for many many years. In my life experience, the women I have known were, for the most part, extremely competitive and catty. So therefor I have not had many close relationships with women.

  17. I am actually not sure. When my daughter was in junior high the worst bully in the school was a boy.

  18. I worked in a high school setting for over 20 years and dealt with this more than I liked. I saw bullying from both genders. I do agree that it is more common with females and I think because they tend to be jealous of the other girls and because of insecurities. Kudos to you for doing what you did.

  19. Dawn Spatulas On Parade says

    Guys compete in sports or a physical way. Girls are catty. Mean spirited and want to be the center.

  20. Simply At Home Mom says

    This is such a big issue these days and more awareness is needed! It sounds like you are being successful at helping to put an end to this in your school.

  21. I dont know that females more prone to bullying but they can be

  22. I’m not sure if it is a male or female prone type thing, but unfortunately it doesn’t stop in school. It carries on into the workplace and beyond.

  23. Here in my country.. this happens a lot to guys than girls. So I’m not sure which is which but whatever and whomever it is prone to.. bullying is always a big thing. and it’s sad 🙁

  24. So far I’ve seen boys being picked on the most, I’m not sure if bullys are more towards girls or boys. not even age either. What I do notice is it’s getting far worse

  25. says

    I don’t think it is one versus the other. In girls most of the time, its more about a popularity contest. Some how girls think it is cool to put down other girls who are not like them or act like them.

  26. C'mon Get Crafty says

    That is a very well-versed way to express this issue, regarding respect. Your students are lucky that you are staying alert for these kinds of situations, and that you and your fellow teachers took necessary steps to address the issue. I hope my children have teachers as caring and attentive as you!

  27. Melanie Roberts says

    What a great post and it’s soo important to talk about bullying; I wish ALL my kids; heck all the kids would have a wonderful teacher like you that cares and watches out for them.. WAY TO GO!!! I do think that boys can be bullied as much as Girls.. just different situations and different way of being able to see/hear about it; Girls may talk more and boys don’t but it also could be the opposite, totally think it can be both ways… So keeping an eye is a great solution and talk to your kids often

  28. I think because socially boys/men are taught that violence is how they handle their problems while girls are not encouraged to deal with anything with physical fighting that it may seem girls are more prone to be bullies as they then when put in a situation that frustrates them will use what other means they have besides physical force as a response. And bullying these days seems to be less about beatings behind the school yard and more along the line of repeated taunts and vicious words. This kind of behavior can be hard to notice until it starts to get aggressive. I think girls find it more accessible to show power and dominance in this kind of way. But I do think the internet culture that we live in seems to make it more easier to do this as well, so perhaps it’s boys can be bullies like this as well, but maybe girls are much more likely to use this kind of method.

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