From UKPA:

Girls are misbehaving more in the classroom now than they were five years ago, a survey of teachers suggests. A fifth of teachers believe girls' behaviour is now more difficult than boys, according to a poll by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL). Almost half (48%) said they think the behaviour of female pupils has worsened over the last five years, with a similar proportion (44%) saying it has got worse in two years. In comparison, 43% said boys' behaviour has deteriorated in two years.

The poll, which questioned over 800 school staff, found that while boys are more likely to be disrespectful and verbally and physically aggressive, girls are more likely to be bullies. Four times as many teachers said they had witnessed girls bullying than boys (44% to 10%), spreading rumours, making snide comments or leaving a fellow pupil out. Girls are usually the ones who refuse to comply with instructions."

COMMENT: As someone who has been viciously bullied without let up for five years by a certain "old girl" from Louisiana, this "shock" result does not surprise me.

However, in the real world, except for one woman* in a previous parish who bullied me into a nervous breakdown because she found out that I had previously suffered from depression and didn't think a person with past mental health problems should be in charge of "her" church, the only people who have bullied me in my adult life have been men - top of the list being my former bishop during his many attempts, finally successful, to get me out of the Church following my illness which was over ten years ago.

Of course, girls have always been vicious bullies at school, although their style is usually psychological rather than physical. From experience I assume that they mostly grow out of it or reserve their bullying for other women. Hopefully, although any increase in schoolyard bullying is extremely worrying as it can lead to irreparable mental health damage and, far to often, suicide, women will continue to "grow up" in the way that many men seem incapable of ever doing. If we are lucky, Sarah Palin will turn out to be merely the exception that proves the rule.

There is one trend in the UK that is very scary. Although I base this observation on reportage alone, it does seem to me that girls and young women are getting involved in violence and gang culture in far greater numbers and with far more viciousness than was the case only ten years ago or so. But, again, I am not surprised. Everything in our media nowadays seems designed to make the whole of life cut throat competitive and a lot of this is aimed at women in talent shows covering everything from performance to cookery and weight loss. Men are probably predisposed towards coping with such stress, although I am not. Women on the other hand have only had to learn the combative skills required to progress in life relatively recently.

Some people in our churches may worry about the feminisation of our institution, but the big worry should probably be in respect of the masculinisation of women, especially young women, in the whole of society.

* To be fair to the gentle sex this woman had very short hair and obviously had far more testosterone flowing through her veins than her extremely gentle and quietly spoken husband. She had this manic desire to be on every committee going and then to hold as many offices on those committees as possible. She ended up as lay chair of her local deanery - bad news for the other deanery members but good news for her husband who no doubt got a chance to choose what to watch on TV when she was out.



  1. RE: “…girls have always been vicious bullies at school, although their style is usually psychological rather than physical.”

    I’m glad you said “usually” because I’ll argue the point…

  2. Maybe it is because I’m the dad of four girls, but it seems to me that the report is right about the frequency of girls bullying is on the rise. At our local school, there has been a great emphasis on preventing physical bullying which has resulted in much less bullying from the boys. However, not as much emphasis has been placed on the more sublime psychological bullying which seems to be more favored by the girls.

    My two oldest girls have been subjected to psychological bullying in the past. How they responded is by helping to create a group that they call ‘Students Advocating For Equality’ (SAFE). One of the goals of the group is to remind students that any derogatory remarks about any group (racial, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, etc) is harmful and is a form of bullying.

    I am very proud of them for helping to make this group a reality in our small rural school.

  3. It’s one of the great sins of my youth, that I participated w/ several other girls in bullying a boy in elementary school (in hindsight, there were disturbing anti-Semitic undertones to it as well, as he was one of the few known Jews in our school).

    We (the boy and I) went to separate middle schools, and then were back together at the same high school. He was by then EXTREMELY popular, and wouldn’t look twice at freaky unpopular me. Which was as it should be [Karma!].

    [wv, “disco”: yup, that was the era]

  4. I find I have always preferred the company of the opposite sex to mine own.
    I was bullied at school but while most was psychological I was on one occasion pushed down some stairs.
    i do wonder if some of this is a reaction against certain forms of feminism; outbloking the blokes?

  5. Sometimes you remind us of why you might get turned down for jobs. Sexism, anti-gay sentiment and an almost complete misunderstanding of the psychology of women in one short post. Thats quite good going.

  6. I’ve never claimed to understand women, troll. To be completely sexist about it, I don’t think you can ever understand women as their motivations are never constant.

    There’s nothing about gay people in the above post. You seem to seeing gay people even when they’re not there, troll. I don’t think anyone could misunderstand you.

  7. Oh no, darlin’, I was the bullied one in school. Beaten up more than once and never fought back.

    This is why I strongly advocate kids fighting back if they ARE bullied. When Joe was young and when my mother was young and in school, they were both bullied, and they stopped the bullying by soundly kicking the asses of the bullies.

    I never, ever fought back and it got really bad, and continued through most of my school life.