Kids can experience bullying throughout childhood, and the teen years are not immune from bullying situations. Nearly 30 percent of U.S. teenagers have experienced bullying, according to statistics from the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. In high school, teenage girls might engage in specific types of bullying behavior toward peers.
Why Girls Bully
Teenage girls might engage in bullying behavior for a variety of reasons. Bullying may be a means of attracting attention or becoming more popular, states the GirlsHealth.gov website. A girl might choose a victim as she attempts to feel better about herself. Some girls derive satisfaction from hurting others, and they enjoy watching victims suffer. If a school environment does not control bullying behavior, girls may bully simply because they see other girls bullying.
While boys generally engage in physical bullying that involves physical domination of a victim, girls typically use a different approach. Girls usually choose verbal and emotional bullying methods to harass and mistreat victims, states the American Psychological Association website. Negative gossip and rumor-spreading, exclusionary tactics and cyberbullying are common methods of bullying for girls.
Female bullying victims often fit a typical profile, states the GirlsHealth.gov website. Girls who may become bullying targets include girls who won’t fight back against a bully, girls who have physical differences or other attributes that set them apart from others, girls who reach puberty earlier or later than average and girls who incite jealous feelings in others.
Teach girls not to accept a climate of bullying by empowering them to keep themselves and others safe, advises the StopBullying.gov website. Encourage a respectful attitude -- one that accepts differences and avoids hurting others -- toward everyone. Instruct a girl to tell a bully to stop in a firm voice. If a girl doesn’t feel comfortable standing strong, encourage her to walk away to find adult assistance. If cyberbullying occurs, teach a teen to seek parental assistance to resolve the situation. Remind kids to interact carefully online due to the permanence of the conversations and the lack of privacy. Talk about the importance of standing up for others, when necessary, to fight back against bullying.
- National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center: Facts for Teens: Bullying
- GirlsHealth.gov: Why Girls Bully
- American Psychological Association: School Bullying is Nothing New, But Psychologists Identify New Ways to Prevent It
- GirlsHealth.gov: Why Some Girls are Bullied
- StopBullying.gov: What You Can Do
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