Monday, January 01, 2001

Gender Differences in Bullying and other Aggressive Adolescent Behaviours

Bullying styles are generally considered to fall under two categories, direct and indirect. Direct physical bullying is to, hit, shove, kick, trip, push, and pull. Direct verbal bullying can involve name-calling, insults, threatening to hurt the other. Indirect bullying, I>also known as social or relational aggression (Crick 1997) involves attacking the relationships of people and hurting the self-esteem. It is subtler and involves behaviours such as spreading nasty rumors, withholding friendships, ignoring, gossiping, or excluding a child from a small group of friends.

There is no doubt that stereotypically, males are more physical and direct in their bullying styles and females more manipulative and indirect (Olweus, 1997; Bjorkqvist, 1994; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995; Lagerspetz, Bjorkqvist & Peltonen, 1988). Boys in our Western culture are encouraged to be tough and competitive and as they maturate slower and develop social intelligence at a slower rate they will use physical aggression longer than girls (Lagerspetz, Bjorkqvist, & Peltonen, 1988; Bjorkqvist, Lagerspetz, & Kauliaien, 1992). However there is no reason to believe that females should be less hostile and less prone to get into conflicts than males (Burbank, 1987, in Bjorkqvist 1994; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). As females are physically weaker, they develop early in life other bullying styles in order to achieve their goals. Indirect aggression in girls increases drastically at about the age of eleven years (Bjorkqvist, Lagerspetz and Kaukiainen, 1992) whereas physical aggression among boys decreases during late adolescence, to be replaced mainly by verbal, but also indirect aggression (Bjorkqvist 1994).

There is a growing body of research in gender differences of bullying and other adolescent aggressive behaviours. There are hundreds of studies dedicated to the topic, many placing the emphasis on boys or the forms of aggression, more salient to boys. Forms of aggression more salient to girls has received comparatively little attention (Crick, 1997; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995).


What is worse, the physical violence of man, or the emotional violence of woman?

Woman can only unleash her anger in imagination, and in emotion, while man can unleash anger physically, when he cannot dissolve it inside his mind with his many reasons. Consequently a woman's imagination is much more dark and vicious than man's.

In battle, men have a respect for the enemy, if the enemy are valiant in their ideals. Women, however, are brutal in their hatred and know no limits. Woman is incounsellable. She would not have a conscience about hanging anyone she did not particularly like. Yes, she is compassionate, but only to those who meet her favour.

It is interesting how we feel more strongly about a man who commits a crime of violence than a woman. She is the eternally innocent. This is probably because men traditionally act willfully, while women act in response. Man is action, woman is reaction. -- Kevin Solway