Tuesday, August 25, 2015

a loser/victim's worldview has no evolutionary value I'm obliged to acknowledge...,

WaPo |  But a new study called “Survival of the Fittest and the Sexiest” published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence has found that adolescent bullies have higher self-esteem and social status, as well as lower rates of depression and social anxiety. From an evolutionary standpoint, these combined measures also make the meanest in the playground pack the ones with the greatest sex appeal.

This probably comes at no surprise to anyone who’s seen Mean Girls. And it could be important to the development of new bullying prevention programs, which have long operated on the assumption that bullies are troubled kids alienated from a school’s core population.

“The bullies come out on top,” said Jennifer Wong, the study’s lead researcher. Her surveys, conducted on 135 Vancouver high school students, indicate that bullying is biological, as kids who have dominating tendencies and a desire to rise to the top of social hierarchies often victimize others in order to get there.

Wong came to these conclusions by administering questionnaires that allowed participants to be categorized into one of four groups: bullies, victims, bully/victims (individuals who bully but also report being victimized themselves) and bystanders. Within these categories, the bullies reported the best self-evaluations and the bully/victims the worst.

Since her research indicates that bullies are characterized by behaviors that are innate rather than learned, Wong said, schools might want to consider ways of channeling those tendencies towards more healthy activities instead of attempting to quell bullies’ innate drive to dominate.