Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

What We Always Knew About Bullies

This month’s issue of The Atlantic includes this tidbit (scroll down to the bottom of the page) about bullying. The ed-school establishment’s characterization of bullies as loners with low self-esteem has set my B.S. detector clanging for some time; now, it appears, it has been debunked. In a study entitled "Bullying Among Young Adolescents: The Strong, the Weak, and the Troubled", it was precisely the bullies who were identified as the "psychologically strongest," and enjoyed the highest esteem among their peers. By contrast, the victims of bullies were the ones most "socially marginalized among their classmates."

Of course, as the editors of The Atlantic point out, this should not come as news to anyone who actually remembers what junior high was like--about a half-step removed from Lord of the Flies. But it’s almost touching--not to say pathetic--how long the Rousseauian image of children as "noble savages" has managed to hold on.

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