Anti-bullying programs seem to result in…more bullying?  

Seokjin Jeong and Byung Hyn Lee set out to discover how bullying prevention programs could be effectively transferred from individual schools to schools on a national level. To their surprise, they discovered that bullying prevention programs don’t always produced the expected results:

“Surprisingly, bullying prevention had a negative effect on peer victimization. Contrary to our hypothesis, students attending schools with bullying prevention programs were more likely to have experienced peer victimization, compared to those attending schools without bullying prevention programs. It is possible that bullies have learned a variety of antibullying techniques but chose not to practice what they have learned from the program.”

Such findings bring up an important point. We spend a lot of time promoting awareness of different issues today. But while awareness of a problem should be raised, is it possible to fixate on that problem so much that we actually increase it?

The fact is, high attention on any one issue can work both ways. On the one hand, it raises focus on the victim. Being able to come out and say, “Yes, I’ve suffered, too,” even for the smallest thing, can be oddly gratifying and status boosting. On the flip side, perpetrators also stand to receive a certain level of prestige and attention for their actions, however wrong they may be.

In much the same way as saturation coverage of mass shootings creates more mass shootings I suspect.

10 thoughts on “Unexpected

  1. its simple behaviorism – negative reinforcement is unreliable as a long term inducement for behavioral change.
    Its like telling your 5 yr old not to use certain words even though you do all the time, next thing you know you’ve raised a liberal who can’t say a sentence without the word f*ck in it.

  2. To their surprise, they discovered that bullying prevention programs don’t always produced the expected results:

    Just like DARE didnt decrease drug use, and probably increased it in a lot of instances. As someone who was bullied growing up teach kids tactics on how to deal with it. Bullying is like puberty, its going to happen at some point no matter what you do. And trying to prevent it is insane..

  3. It reminds me of other studies which have found that the worst place to be if you’re a minority is in a town with an active diversity program.

  4. I have a theory: better citizens through physical violence.

    My theory is that the memory of physical violence is a moderating influence on behavior. If I mouth off to that guy, or manhandle this girl, or steal that stuff, or pick on the littler kid, I might get beaten for it and I remember how painful and humiliating it was last time I was beaten; therefore, I won’t do it.

    An entire generation of precious unique snowflakes have been coddled to the point they either lash our in violence or burst into tears when they don’t get their way, or if someone disagrees with them, or if they read a Banned Word in “Huckleberry Finn.”

    The reason keyboard warriors are so vicious on-line is they’ve never been in a fist-fight and never expect to be. The reason bullies pick on weaker kids is they weren’t disciplined and don’t expect to be.

    They weren’t spanked enough as kids, nor beaten enough as teens, to teach them the consequences of bad behavior.

    In my Grandma’s day, they said it more succinctly: “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

  5. Having had the experience of being someone who was bullied and not physically able to sufficiently retaliate, and as someone whose father also was not only bullied but eventually WAS physically able to sufficiently retaliate, there is only one thing that will prevent bullies: Equal or greater pain being meted out in retaliation for their bullying. I was a tall but not-very-muscular kid growing up, I think due to the fact that my parents never involved me in any sports. I got in a few retaliatory pokes, but that usually just made matters worse for me. My father played football and wrestled in HS, and developed serious muscle. The two instances he has told me about, when he finally was able to internally say “Enough is enough” and lit back into the bullies, in both instances, he drew blood. After the 2nd one, the rest of his high school learned to leave him the hell alone. There are tons of videos on YouTube where a kid (or an adult) snaps and goes apeshit on his bully. Those videos warm my heart and make my eyes moist. The fat kid in Australia who picked up the scrawny little kid and body slammed him is a god damned hero. That his school punished him for it is a god damned travesty.

    This is reason #96978235 why we live a low income lifestyle and send our kids to private school. Unlike public schools who hand out equal or greater punishment to kids who stand up to their bullies, my kids’ school takes it seriously and hands out serious consequences to the bully. In addition to that, the vast majority of people who are willing and able to pay out the ass for private school, also tend take an interest in their family and raise well behaved children who don’t bully. It does happen occasionally, but not nearly in the amounts that it happens in public school.

  6. “there is only one thing that will prevent bullies” should be “there is only one thing that will stopbullies”

  7. A typical anti-bullying policy defines bullying as:
    Bullying is defined as the repeated use by one or more students or by a member of a school staff including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target/victim that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the target/victim or damage to the target/victim’s property; (ii) places the target/victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or damage to his/her property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the target/victim; (iv) infringes on the rights of the target/victim at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

    From this comes the snowflake or SJW of today; it is their right, no matter their behavior, to not be made to feel bad.

  8. Bill C, I’m guessing no one’s ever seen a picture of you and I together, ‘cuz I was that skinny kid without a lot of muscle, too. #SeparatedAtBirth? And somehow, though I never had to beat the snot out of anyone, the bullying disappeared when I put on 40 lbs of mostly muscle and hit 6’ tall.

    Reminds me of going to college and confronting liberal professors by noting that it’s weak nations that get into disastrous wars most often, not strong ones. They somehow had the notion that if we only disarmed, then the Soviets would become totally peaceful. The more liberals change, the more they stay the same, I guess.

    And finally, on the light side, when Monica Lewinsky started campaigning against cyberbullying, I had to wonder if she was working to put the late Dennis Hof out of business. Again, the more liberals change….

  9. When liberals come out against something they mean that they want to define and license it. Official government and elite approved hate, such as anti-Christian hate, is allowed; anti-Muslim hate is not.

  10. I have a theory: better citizens through physical violence.

    It’s way past time to bring back dueling.

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