Girls and Bullying
This is a follow-up piece to my article, “Bullying In Schools”, published on CHW on August 27, 2018.
During my recent interview with Jedlie from Reading With Your Kids, he asked me a serious question about bullying, “Why have girls become more physically aggressive?” In all honesty, I wasn’t able to answer his question accurately, but it did shine a light straight through the holes in my understanding of bullying. Since I was unable to answer Jedlie’s question, I decided to dig deeper into the subject of girls and bullying and fill in the gaps with the information I was lacking.
It is well known that bullying is a serious social issue that exists between male and female students. While male bullying is typically more physical, both sexes can be aggressive in their methods to dominate. Bullying among girls is commonly known to manifest as cyberbullying, verbal bullying, and social/relational bullying. These subtler categories often go unnoticed when compared to their more visible counterparts.
But, I still haven’t answered the original question, why have girls become more physically aggressive?
Could more aggressive female characters being cast in pop culture factor into the rise of combative behaviors among girls? According to an article by, Kimberly Pleva M.S.E., girls getting more media attention for committing violent crimes is a big contributor to this trend and needs our attention. Fatherly states, that the environments boys and girls share and generations of abuse are a result. In his book, See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It, James Garbarino, an authority on juvenile violence and aggression, explores this issue at length. His analysis suggests that one factor contributing to this rise in aggression among girls correlates to the rise in competitive female sports. Sports have allowed girls to express themselves physically but hasn’t taught them how to channel violent behaviors appropriately.
Relatively speaking, physical aggression among girls is still lower when compared to boys, but has risen to almost the same levels.
In conclusion, it seems that society’s values are a definite contributor to the rise in aggression among girls. It rests squarely on the shoulders of society to come together and instruct girls and boys on appropriate behavior and how harmful actions, no matter which forms they take, can have negative consequences and hurt another deeply.