Boys are the more physical bullies

By Sam Schmitt
Staff writer

The behaviors of boys and girls that bully can be similar, but spotting bullying among boys is much easier than it is with girls.

David P. Farrington, professor of psychological criminology at Cambridge University, says that boys that bully are more physical than girls.

Psychiatrist Ann Ruth Turkel says boys are more physical because of they way they are raised. Boys are encouraged to kick their negative feelings away, while girls are taught to avoid direct confrontation.

She also says that boys usually bully strangers or acquaintances, while girls bully within their group of friends.

Alex Schmitt, a college freshman at Michigan Tech University, talked to me about his experiences with bullying during high school.

“My senior year of high school I was captain of the varsity hockey team. We were huge rivals with the other team in our town and would trash talk each other on the ice. It carried over to commenting on Facebook photos from hockey games, but it was harmless and went both ways.

“One night when my mom and sister were home, a group of boys came and T.P.’d our house. We never found out exactly who it was, but I had a pretty good idea.

“Another time when I was leaving for school, I walked out to my truck and saw that someone had thrown ice cream on the back window.

“I also got my truck keyed while it was parked in the school parking lot. I never found out exactly who did that either, though.”

Although Alex did not experience any physical harm to himself, the actions against him were physical and more direct than would be seen in girls.

A national survey of children’s exposure to violence found that, in 2008, boys were more likely to be victims of physical assault than girls. 50.2 percent of boys reported being physically assaulted within the past year, compared with 42.1 percent of girls.

These percentages are much too high, but with an effort to learn about bullying, prevention and how to act, it is possible for these numbers to be lowered.

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