Bullying Affects Children and Adults
Many problems in society need public attention, bullying is one of the top problems. The problem of bullying affects everyone in some aspect whether it is by being the victim, victimizer, and both the victim and the victimizer, friend, or family member of the victim or victimizer, or just a bystander that does nothing to prevent this problem. Bullying affects people both young and old.
"When you think of a bully, you might not picture a young child. While bullying is most common in the elementary and secondary grades, it is important for early childcare and education programs to be aware that associated bullying behaviors begin early even into the preschool years." (Healthy Child Care 2006).
When one thinks of a bully, the image of a movie villain may come into their minds. This is not always the case. In reality, a victimizer of bullying can be male or female, small or large, young or old. "Bullying has no social, financial, or cultural boundaries." (Oakland Tribune 2006) The act of bullying changes as the age of the victim and victimizer becomes older.
In the preschool and elementary years, the acts of bullying may seem minimal or insignificant. This may not be the case. Preschoolers bully by pushing and shoving, taking toys away, teasing, and leaving a child out of a playgroup. We have all seen a preschool bully, whether it is at the playground, the supermarket, at school, or at home with our own children. Luckily, small children are usually more forgiving and forgetful of this bad behavior than older children and adults. This naivety can be a good thing. Although, the effects can still be harmful to a small child by encouraging the victimizer or by setting the scene for what is likely to face the victim in the future.
Adolescence is the age that bullying becomes rampant and more involved. Barbara Coloroso, author of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystanders, found that "86% of students between the ages of 12 and 15 get bullied at school." (Gifted Child Today2004) Bullying at this age is the most detrimental to the child. An adolescent is one who is easily persuaded and affected by bad behavior. Depression and suicidal tendencies arise more often in this age. Peer pressure is very relevant, making the feelings of inadequacy or the pressure to tease a person more prevalent. How Common Is Teen Bullying?
National Survey of students in grades 6 to 10. (School Bullying and Teen Bullying Statistics 2006).
During adolescence, the methods of bullying change. Physical and emotional bullying increase and become more severe. Technology today makes the act of bullying easier to accomplish. A new term for bullying is cyber-bullying. "Savvy students are using Instant Messaging, e-mails, chat rooms to humiliate a peer. No longer can parents count on seeing the tell-tale physical signs of bullying a black eye, bloody lip, torn clothes. But the damage done by cyber bullies is no less real, and can be infinitely more painful." (i-SAFE Inc. 2003-2004) This mental and emotional harassment is easier for the victimizer to accomplish with the use of internet technology.
Boys are not the only bullies. Female bullying is becoming more apparent in today's schools. "In a survey of 337 local middle school and high school girls, more than half the respondents said they had been victims of bullying by other girls." (State Journal Register 2006) The entertainment realm is making light of this phenomenon, but this is a real life problem. The entertainment business loves to show a catfight or a fight between two females. This behavior is shown in television programs, movies, books, and magazines. Society promotes this bad behavior by engaging in all of the entertainment business promotions of bullying. When a person purchases a movie ticket, watches a television show, or buys a magazine containing the act of bullying; then this is adding to the problem of bullying.
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