Bullying is such a sensitive topic to discuss. I would see my classmates growing up get emotionally and physically abused by other students, while many others would just stand there and laugh. Bullying today has now gone to a whole new level - cyber bullying. Children not only have to deal with the struggles during the school day but also at home through the Internet. However, where do children get the stamina to become a bully?
In an article by Victoria Costello (2012), for Psych Central, talked about what factors make a child a bully. She named five specific influences that create such a child. First was when one receives physical punishment. Through a meta-analysis, Costello found that children who were spanked more likely to exhibit bullying behavior. Other factors were watching aggressive behavior in adults, watching violent television, problems with processing emotions, and they obtained a more serious psychiatric disease course.
We know a bully enjoys seeing others feeling hurt and weak; they enjoy having the power. We try to tell children to not give those people that satisfaction and to stay strong. However, I feel as though there was a factor that some never thought of, do we all hold feelings towards enjoyment at other's expense?
One day, my friends and I had a discussion a while ago about how it was funny to watch people get hurt while watching 'America's Funniest Home Videos' and 'Tosh.0.' Why is it so funny to see someone in physical pain? Nevertheless, we could not come up with a logical explanation. It was just funny. A friend of mine has a young son, just turned 3, with a very clumsy father. Every time he does something to hurt himself, like stub his toe on the table, the young boy always laughs at his hardest. There was also an episode of SpongeBob that he was watching, where SpongeBob had to entertain a crowd of children and he found the only way to make the kid's amused was to hurt himself - and my friend's son couldn't stop laughing.
As we grow up, we mature and see someone getting hurt terribly, with good reason. Although, why is it when a friend trips and doesn't get hurt or we see a "funny" online video we laugh? I have always wondered if we all start, as a new member to society, in the manor of enjoying expense until we learn what is socially acceptable. Perhaps, the ones who become bullies grow in an environment where it is then normal. This and other confounding variables I believe should be taken into consideration.
Costello, V. (2012). How a Bully Is Made. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 24, 2012, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/how-a-bully-is-made/.
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