March 06, 2007
What are the social causes / consequences of this issue?
The social causes of bullying stem from many smaller aspects of a child’s surroundings such as family and friends. A young girl’s family consists of people that she is around a lot, and can begin to model herself after. If the family is disrespectful to each other, arguing and making fun of them, at home, the young girl feels that that is the normal thing to do. She sees how her family acts and fulfills their roles and begins to model herself after them. At school and with her friends she begins to follow her path of least resistance that was brought on by her family, and begins to bully to get attention and be like her role models.
Another group that young girls are always around is their friends. If someone’s friends bully other kids at school, they will begin to bully simply to fit into that social group. If they don’t bully, they could feel ostracized from the group and even could start to get bullied by their own friends. A young girl does not want to cause social conflict by sticking up for herself because she merely wants to keep the friends she has. At this young of an age personal morals are not set in stone yet and social conflict is avoided at all costs.
The consequences of bullying are short and long term and cover a wide range of severity. At the beginning of bullying, the self esteem of the victim is hit very hard. The victim feels guilty and confused at the same time, trying to figure out why this is happening to them. As it continues, social skills begin to fade away even more and depression starts to set in. If no help is found or if the bullying isn’t even noticed, more severe consequences start to surface. Not so much in middle school, but in the beginning of high school, victims may drop out of school all together. In the most severe cases, suicide is considered and eventually carried out. In the long run, many bullying victims fail to thrive in adulthood: they distrust relationships, are fearful, experience isolation and have difficulties standing up for themselves.
On the other hand, there are even consequences for the bully. Bullies, in the long run, tend to have more court convictions than their peers, are more prone to alcoholism, are far less social, make more use of health services, and over time become more isolated by their peers. As they grow older, they find out that bullying isn’t what makes you popular, and you have to have something else to attain that social aspect of your life. So even though the bully may have been the popular one in middle school, more often than not, they will not be as happy and successful later in their life.
Posted by kalemm at March 6, 2007 10:36 PM