Bullying is an act of intimidation and the use of threats, coercion and abuse to dominate minor individuals aggressively (Ross). A bully is known to use superior strength and extended force to influence others to comply with his demands. There are different areas where bullying is seen from homes, schools and the social media such as the internet where this trend has been on the rise in recent years. The results of bullying are seen from a negative attribute as the affected parties suffer from minor to severe psychological effects. In the United States, bullying is among the leading causes for the increased number of suicides among teenage girls. The sensitivity of this gender and especially in their teenage years makes this practice catastrophic and severe in repercussions. Bullying is a practice that is acquired as one develops. Changes in the environment and upbringing are the major reasons that force individuals to acquire traits and characteristics of bullies as nobody is born a bully. According to Kropar, bullying is a skill that is taught (Kropar). Depending on the gender, bullying varies widely between boys and girls. There are several reasons why bullying is prominent among girls. Having an understanding of these reasons is a major step towards mitigating the spread of the practice.
Peer pressure is among the primary reasons cited as to why girls bully each other especially in high schools. The increased need to be part of a particular group, establish a set boundary, as well as be accepted by fellow members triggers the unquenchable desire to become a bully. Depending on the upbringing and the environment experienced at home, one is either prone to being a bully or not. According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center (NYVPRC), individuals from hostile backgrounds have a high probability of becoming bullies. This is also the case for girls from settings where the parents are authoritarian or permissive. However, psychologists argue that it is in the nature of some individuals to dominate and have the feel of power. As a result, the majority of girls, especially in their teenage years, have a sizzling desire to dominate and be respected by their fellow mates. Statistics indicates that bullies are not always the perpetrators but are victims. A major cause is through the treatment they receive from their superiors, and to be friends they tend to relieve themselves through bullying others. There are little or no empathetic feelings to victims of bullying. According to the statistics of the NYVPRC, six percent of the girls are seen to be both victims and perpetrators. The hope of being relieved from the anguish of being victims of bullying is a common belief held by a majority of bullies. This is a major reason that fuels group bullying (Sakahara).
Bully victims are victims of circumstances. The society has blinded itself to the acts that lead to bullying. It is a misguided notion and belief that is held by the society that in order for the weak to be hardened, they have to be subjected to tough conditions (Ross). This is an insensitive faith as the emotions and expectations of teens are heightened and vulnerable. It is the responsibility and duty of higher authorities to protect the safety, sanity and development of a child. A child is any person below the constitutional required age. As a result, all high school students qualify by virtue of their age to be termed as children. Therefore, it is the responsibility of state agents to provide policies that protect children not only from their authorities such as parents and teachers, but also from fellow students. The department of education in the state is responsible for the wellbeing of students in their learning environment. Therefore, it is expected that rules, regulations and policies should be formulated and enforced in an effort to protect the rights of teens from bullying. The rising consequences of this actions necessitate the need for prompt measures to be implemented in order to protect victims everywhere. According to statistics retrieved from the U.S National study, 30 percent of middle and high school girls are victims of this heinous act. This is a massive representation of approximately 5.7 million teens (Craig et al.).
Considering that this overwhelming number comprises only of the cases that are reported and documented, it is evident that there are others, whose numbers may double this, who are still suffering in silence. Bullying injects fear to individuals and tampers with their self-confidence and emotional growth. As a result, very few individuals find the courage to report the challenges and mistreatments that they are being subjected to. Other than just self-esteem, there are other emotional difficulties that bullies encounter. These are mainly, depression, anger issues, anxiety and lack of empathy. If these conditions are not detected and mitigated early in an individual’s life, a person is prone to experience more challenges as an adult. The result lies in treating the root of the problem and not the consequences. Therefore, the need to mitigate bullying and protect the victims is paramount. The depression in girls is severe especially when they do not have a companion to share their ordeals with. This can be cited as the main cause for the increase suicides among teenage girls.
Teenage bullying has a variety of effects. First, injuries and physical problems are a result of bullying. Other than this, verbal, emotional and online bullying have a deeper effect on the emotional behavior of teens. Suicide, depression and the increased use of drugs can be attributed to bullying (Uba, Yaacob and Juhari). While external bullying is a common occurrence among teenage boys, girls in their teen years are more susceptive to emotional and verbal torture. Reports indicate that boys engage in fights while girls are victims of sexual gossip and calling of nasty names. The characteristics of physical bullying makes it easier to identify which is contrary to name calling and gossip. The latter is a common occurrence to older teens.
Bullying is a vice that continues to root itself in the families and lives of a majority of individuals. Families continue to practice the vice on their children and if the chain is not broken, this will continually be seen in generations to come. Without proper upbringing, one is inclined to practice the virtues and vices received during the development of their children. The environment, such as a school playground, the workplace, classrooms and any joint where individuals gather, is a referential and potential ground where bullying may be practiced. The complexity of the bullying problem is not easily amended. As a result, it is easy to mitigate others than wait for the worst to happen and run when it is too late in an effort to solve the problem. Individuals who are bullied at a tender age feel that they have been deprived of the attention they need. This leads them to force others to shift their attention to them in their adult life. The severe consequence of this is that institutions such as marriages do not work, as one partner feels suffocated by the needs and desires of the other.
There are different organizations that play a vital role in the rectification of this behavior in adults and children. If the problem is persistent in adults, drastic measures have to be taken as they are the figure of authority. If this is not rectified, they will transfer their quest for attention to their children who will in turn become bullies. The home environment is critical in the way individuals turn to be in life (Craig et al.). Children crave for attention and, therefore, family time should be set aside that incorporates children and ensures that their needs are catered for and listened. Training children on how to react and challenge different conditions is a nurturing necessity. It is recommended that the home environment be the starting point where the needs of the children are addressed first hand to ensure that they turn to become responsible adults who are not attached to their feelings and are alienated from all forms of bullying characteristics.
Lastly, many girls become bullies, because they seek power. Seeking power and attention leads to bullying because the person continuously picks on others to get attention and social interaction. For example, Cary is a smart and quiet kid who minds her own business, and Kate is a loner who wants attention. Kate picks on Cary by telling her that she’s an ugly geek and pushes her down. As a result, Kate then receives attention from other students who think what she does to Cary is cool. Since Kate is looked up to, the other students become her friends. Various and better ways are available to attract attention and make friends, such as helping peers, being nice, and respecting others. Students should learn to be cool, calm, and respectful when making friends.
There are certain issues that need immediate action from the government and all the stakeholders involved in the education sector. Bullying is among the leading issues that need to be addressed. The emotional effects and the rising challenges of the vice need immediate action to help mitigate and eliminate the problem. Parents and guardians have a duty to play by ensuring that their children are made aware of the repercussions of bullying fellow students and friends. The way forward for parents is to hold talks and discussions with their children and put emphasis on how handle bullies. Society changes begin from the minor adjustments and changes implemented in the home and learning environment. Therefore, adopting a series of actions that seem minor on the onset will change the notion and attitude that the society has placed upon bullies. This will inevitably change how individuals behave in a social setting.