The article on Yahoo promised to tell me the reasons behind bullying. At last, I thought, I will finally have the answer. The one that I have waited nearly forty years. The one that I need right now. When I was a kid, I had bully trouble. Now that I have a son, he's got it too. Would the answer be some sort of genetic map? Generations passing down their victim or bully strain? That didn't seem likely, since he Darwinian model would suggest that those weaker sorts would have been thinned out over time. Survival of the nastiest, after all.
According to the article, "decades of research have shown that the power differential between bullies and victims is a crucial component of the interaction." Power differential? That sounds a like something I've had to pay to have fixed on my car. Then again, duh. The difference in power is what makes bullies possible? Bigger kids pick on smaller ones? Decades of research? They went on to say that "other researchers have found evidence that kids who are already socially awkward are more vulnerable to bullies." And yet, the scientists could not decide on the one thing that made kids vulnerable to bullies.
I believe "socially awkward" will be sufficient. Math Club. Band. Debate Team. My guess is that you won't find a lot of bullies there. Just victims. The researchers suggest that bullies do their job in public. They want attention. Really? Decades of research.
And yet, the social scientists want us to know that bullying isn't inevitable. In spite of a culture that seems to inspire and periodically revere its bullies, I'm looking at you, Rush Limbaugh, the rest of us slower gazelles continue to find our way with the rest of the herd. And every so often it would be nice if one of those slow gazelles would turn around and knock the snot out of that lion. Just to mess with the balance of nature.