Posted by Brandon Bader at Friday, May 22, 2015 2:32:41 PM CDT
Relational Bullying or Relational Aggression is the act in which harm is caused by damaging someone’s relationships or social status. Not unlike malice, this form of bullying often takes place in a school setting and is probably the most harmful because it not only involves others, but it involves others seeing that person get publicly humiliated. Often the victims are not in a group of their own and the isolation makes them a target to others because they come across as diferent. Often triggers for this are sexuality, gender, socioeconomic status (SES), or can be as simple as the way that person dresses.
Power is in numbers, something that is equally as common with a pack of animals, there is often a pack leader who instigates the bullying and a number of people who coincide with it. Some who just follow blindly, some who agree with it and some who disagree with what is going on but follows anyway. Within the group the same form of bullying takes place because of fear of being the next potential target if they choose not to follow suit.
In large part there are differences but only between the two genders in how the bullying takes place. Males tend to use more physical pranks in an act of demeaning. The example I used was from the video Bully, Tyler Long was victimized by his peers by being stuffed in lockers and by having his clothes stolen when he would shower forcing him to have to walk around naked. The taunting go to the point where he eventually killed himself. These acts differ from girls where the study of Relational Bullying has been the focus because girls attacks towards others tend to be more psychological and fit the description of ruining someone’s social standing.
The example for girls that was used was the Fab Five Cheerleader Scandal in Texas. A Lifetime movie was made about it and it involved a group of cheerleaders that essentially “Ran” their school without any reprucussions from administration. It was actually clssified as them terrorizing the school with their antics that ranged from skipping class to spreading rumors to even terrorizing their own coaches and teammates. An independent investigator was ultimately called in and faulted the school for allowing it all to happen and at the forefront of it was the mother of the head cheerleader who was also the school’s principal.
Bullying exists in both genders and while different it could also be argued that socially it is necessary. It teaches valuable lessons for those who are on both sides. As I said above, there are components within the group that facilitate the bullying. The ones that follow blindly, the ones tha are fully on board and those who know it isn’t right. For the latter they tend to be the ones better off because at some point they usualy say enough is enough and detatch themselves from that group. It could also be said that it is necessary for those being bullied. Adversity is something that can break us or make us an even better person. As many sad stories as there are there are just as many stories of those who overcome a bully. I’ll attach a video below but a boy was being bullied and retaliated against it, the video went viral and it also showed that a strong enough person will say enough is enough. Not saying that violence is the answer, but violence isn’t not the answer.