What's actually going on is that rather than taking the uncomfortable step and questioning our current day school system where we send our kids to prisons (in anything but name), give them BS tasks for years and call it "education", the people in charge prefer to make the bullying problem one of the "socially disadvantaged" fringe groups, which allows them to throw public money at "anti bullying programs" and other pedagogical bullshit that target said fringe groups, so they can say "look, we're doing something!". Utterly disgusting.
Particularly, in my experience, bullying tends to be exacerbated during periods of social uncertainty, such as a change in the class cohort. The bullies feel vulnerable and are looking to prove themselves, and the bullied are vulnerable, having not yet had any chance to form social support groups.
Your description of "The bullies feel vulnerable and are looking to prove themselves, and the bullied are vulnerable, having not yet had any chance to form social support groups." was spot on in my experience.
Frankly, I don't understand the purpose of junior high at all, seems like it would make much more sense to just have elementary schools go up to, say, 8th grade, then go to a high school (lots of private schools already do this).
I worked at a summer camp for a few years. It's split into "sessions" for different age groups by grade level: 4/5, 6/7, 8/9, 10/11/12. It was staggering how bad the bullying was in the 8/9th grade session compared to all other grade levels. The rest of the groups barely ever had any issues at all other than isolated, subjective cases, while the 8th/9th grade sessions would almost all have HUGE drama with kids (boys and girls both) changing friend groups, kicking kids out of their group, and joining new groups, all within the span of one week at camp. More drama than a reality TV show, it was nuts.
I agree about eliminating middle school / junior high. It's too narrow a band of ages, they aren't exposed to enough more mature kids to learn how to act, or much less mature kids to show them a reflection of what they used to be like.
In everyday life, if an environment/person bothers you, you can simply CHOOSE to deal with it if it's worth it or avoid it if it's not.
Schools and prisons are closed systems where the social hierarchy inevitably gets established and constantly contested.
As someone who has been on both sides of the game telling kids not to fight back is counterproductive. If the situation is handled correctly it can become an incredible opportunity for growth.
In general, I don't agree with this. However, after reading a couple of prison experts argue that prison gangs, and most prison violence could be eliminated simply by reducing the size of the prisons. They argue that prison gangs are a rational response to the inability to make prisons safe for prisoners, and that inability is simply a question of prison size.
I wonder if a similar effect isn't present in modern public schools. That above a certain size it. becomes impossible to maintain an environment which is physically and psychologically safe for the students.
we probably had more teachers per student, so more supervision, but I can't say that really helped. kids wouldn't physically attack each other in front of a teacher, but a lot of the verbal bullying was coded in a way (nicknames, in-group slang) that it wasn't obvious to an adult that it wasn't playful. the kids all knew exactly what was going on though.
In the adult world, in most cases you aren't forced to go anywhere and only do so because you have a good reason, whether it's the workplace (earning money), universities (learning things because you need that knowledge), etc. Most people go into an establishment with a goal in mind, work towards that goal and have little time nor motivation for things like bullying.
School is different because kids have no say in the matter, so even if they aren't interested in learning (because the coursework is boring, irrelevant, etc) have to go there and waste ~8 hours a day and need to occupy themselves. Typical sources of entertainment (television, video games, etc) are forbidden so bullying, or similar anti-social activities happens to fill the gap. This results in a lose-lose situation; kids that aren't interested in the coursework are having a miserable time and entertain themselves by making the environment miserable for everyone else (both other pupils as well as the school staff).
One of my regrets is that I didn't just drop out of high school at 15
and get my GED. I took the ACT test twice, once at 15 and once at 18,
and there wasn't really a difference in my score.
I suppose the one real difference is that the second time, I had fewer
fucks to give, and a buddy smoked a joint with me before I took the test.
The only institutions in life that I know of where you are forced to
attend and prohibited from leaving on your own recognizance are
school, prison, and a mental health facility to which one is involuntarily committed.
Perhaps nursing homes are another.
That said, I have a lot of respect for the teaching profession. I had
some truly incredible teachers.
This is just an anecdote. I went from an enriched program with a high school of about 500 students, which was quite wonderful, but still had the usual high school social issues, to another enrichment school of about 60 students. It was socially different. Everyone knew everyone well. You had to get along.
Just showing that you have the ability to strike back is often enough.
Oddly, became friends with my tormenter and had a lot in common.
Grandfather was right -- if you get hit, hit back, twice as hard.
As an adult the concept works. Bees can’t hurt me significantly, and even when they land an attack they die - but I go out of my way to leave them alone.
The trick is to turn off the switch in your head that tells you to stop if you're in too much pain or something is very wrong. Only real lunatics will keep going at someone that fights like that, and those are pretty rare.
When I went to highschool, someone in the class came up with a new nickname for me, despite much smaller than that person I fought back, I punched him as hard as I could, got badly punched back too. But after that, no one ever called me by that nickname.
When my son goes to school, I will tell him to fight back in case of bullying. It's the way the world works and if I had known that in middle school, I would have had a much better time and wouldn't have had thoughts of suicide.
Well, only in the sense that the analogy between prison and society is "spot on".
>In everyday life, if an environment/person bothers you, you can simply CHOOSE to deal with it if it's worth it or avoid it if it's not
There are myriads of ways you can't just "chose" (from not wanting to make a fuss, from them being powerful and that would turn against you, from you needing a job, and tons of other things besides).
Which is of course supposed to be civil if nothing else.
Anything less is realistically a lack of human nature, often still remaining along a not-completely-civilized continuum.
So _human nature_ should never be used as an excuse for uncivil behavior, and further progress can best be made by recognizing _lack of human nature_ as the problem instead.
This should be obvious to behaviorists but once you go there you've got to figure lots of them would need more _common sense_, except there still remains some prevalence to _common lack of sense_ . . .
Mixed-age groups of home-schooled kids (e.g., at co-op events) tend to just play, with the older ones typically watching out for the younger kids, whether they are siblings or not.
Mixed-age groups of formally-schooled kids begin by setting up a hierarchy that usually depends on grade in school* and then is continually refined.
* H-S kids in a mixed group are immediately marked as outsiders by this question. They either don't know or operate at different levels in different subjects.
Depends on how studious you are.
It did not solve any of the problems you mention. In fact, it introduced a new set of problems where some number of students (and parents) at every school would conclude that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence no matter what. Most of the students who switched schools struggled to make friends or were frustrated that the switch didn’t automatically solve their social problems.
In retrospect, I realize I learned a lot about social maturity by staying one place with a semi-random group of people that I had to learn how to work with.
What do you think the reason was?
That said, bullying doesn't seem to be any less or more at DPS. Some quick googling seems to show a few cases of 'extreme' bullying in the local news, but nothing I can really point at to say the bullying is less or more. In the absence of really any stats or evidence, I'd assume bullying is probably the same as in other large metro districts.
My other cousin had a similar problem, his mom switched his school 3 times and in the end he wanted to go back to the first school. In the meantime, he fell way behind in his learning.
As long as kids get arrested if they don't attend the prison analogy applies.
Sounds like he's ready for an office job /s
And the stuff that is missing at home, even with video calls, is the more intersting stuff around communication. At home learning is slower and more composed of those less fun activities. That is also what my kids were telling me about what they miss from school.
This whole "now people see how horrible schools are" is not sentiment I an getting from people I know. They worry about kids learning less and are trying to figure out how to offset it, they worry about kids not socializing and so on. Maybe your school was horrible place, but the covid situation does not seem to prove that. Instead, it seem to make everyone including kids idealize the school.
I have two kids so they played together and they could play a lot more on tablets, so they were onle little bit more distractive then in person office gets.
Is this just me or does this phrase come across as needlessly hostile?
Everybody needs to learn how to deal with bullying. How to recognize it, how to combat it, how to build relationships and cultures that are proof against it. And if there are things we want everybody to learn, school doesn't seem like a bad place to start.
It doesn't help that American culture has a particular distaste for empathizing with "weak people". Everybody is suppose to present some narrative of being a winner however narrowly scoped. It's no wonder "Chad or Virgin" memes are ubiquitous, people will never avow publicly to it but I suspect enough teeter on perceiving reality as if that kind of toxic binary was metaphysical in nature and therefore beyond empirical reproach.
To be clear-- even if you had published your 2nd paragraph prior to this research being published, that wouldn't qualify as something that is "completely obvious." At the very least you would have needed to give a hypothesis as to why it is you think the current anti-bullying programs cannot work. That hypothesis would have needed to at least include something like, "in my experience people end up bullying their friends most of the time."
Otherwise, you can't convincingly claim the truth was obvious and people who didn't get it were likely pretending. Without the research, everyone just shrinks back to become little mice noisily speculating about the state of the world.
Not GP, but I've been advocating that children learn to defend themselves, both physically and verbally for many years. Here's a gem from a little over five years ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11111126
Confrontation is a part of life and it's important to understand response in kind. If someone in school makes fun of your shoes you don't run away or punch them in the face, you make fun of their shirt.
Anti-bullying can't work because the real world does not have referees jumping in to break up non-violent situations. Children need to learn to address their own situations and that the words of their peers are totally meaningless.
I agree that is an essential life skill, and I'd add that you have to judge the situation to know if that's appropriate.
Sometimes your verbal assailant is not playful, but emotionally unbalanced, and responding in-kind will only put them farther over the edge, maybe dangerously so. I've had good results by yelling back with equal volume, but neutral tone, saying things like "Good morning. How you doing today?" and received a befuddled, and much quieter "Oh, good morning."
Also “little mice noisily speculating about the state of the world” is a pretty good summary of a lot of academia.
I have no idea what you could possibly mean by this.
Do you want trade schools? Those exist.
I suppose math departments, being 100% theory, ought to go too
I had the same reaction as the parent but I was also mercilessly bullied in middle and high school. It’s no different than any other form of abuse in that you have no choice but to understand the social dynamic so that you can protect yourself.
I didn’t get bullied solely because I was nerdy, I got bullied because I was a nerdy kid who was trying to make friends.
I didn’t get bullied solely because I was queer, I got bullied because I was queer and tried to not be ashamed of it.
As soon as I accepted that my only permissible friends were the other misfits and queers then the bullying (mostly) stopped. It only started up again if as a group we started having too much fun in public because that started to threaten the popular kids’ position in school. If people saw us enjoying ourselves they might want to join us or shudder be like us. And that would make us… popular. Can’t have that.
It’s more convenient to find another problem to solve. For this issue today, we look at bettering the plight of gay eskimo pre-teens and declare victory over bullying.
I can tell you from personal experience as a member of a non-marginalized demographic who was relentlessly bullied in elementary school that bullying is not limited to any one type of target. In my case, a feckless bureaucracy and adult laziness were key enablers of bullying and bullying behavior. Personally, a amazing and brave teacher “saved” me and did so at his personal initiative and at his peril from a career perspective.
There are plenty of examples of people knowing things, or seeing things as obvious, which are only much later acknowledged by academic research.
You are welcome to base your reality on what academia publishes, and accept that authority, but let’s be clear that this is what you are choosing to do.
Also, it’s worth looking at the majority of comments on this post. Most of them also appear to assume that the research’s result was obvious.
Obvious how? Not everybody is socially astute. Granted, I had never been bullied in high school but I wasn't much of a social operator.
But a school is also where you learn to read, write, speak, maths, some physics, some chemistry, etc.
In doubt I put my kid, from a very early age, in a top-notch private school in english (she's not a native english speaker).
My thinking being that, even if it's daycare/prison where nothing is taught (which I don't think is the case but I'm at least entertaining the idea), she's at least learning to speak english fluently : )
Could schools handle bullying better? Probably. But your call for “questioning” is not at all constructive or actionable. To me you demonstrate only that what the article describes works just as well on hn as it does in schools. Dunking on easy targets for social standing.
Clearly they are not doing what the article describes. No individuals were hurt by the writing of that comment.
> Your shallow analysis and careless invective,
Seems like you are trying to hurt the poster with this insulting dismissal. The poster is an individual who can be hurt.
> somehow pointing the finger at school systems for something that is largely a result of human nature, is bullying.
This is a false dichotomy. Bullying is clearly a result of human nature.
However an individual’s exposure to bullying is clearly a result of the social systems they are exposed to. If there are differences in incidence of bullying in different social systems, we can certainly say that systems are also a cause.
> You’re throwing school systems under the bus for internet points.
You are throwing an individual peer on HN under the bus for internet points. This is against HN guidelines, unlike critiquing a system.
> Could schools handle bullying better? Probably.
Seems like you think the current level of bullying may be the best we can do?.
> But your call for “questioning” is not at all constructive or actionable.
This is obviously totally false.
1. There are many alternative schooling systems, and many alternatives to schooling.
2. Many comments on this post are doing the exact questioning the commenter is calling for.
It’s certainly constructive to question the school system which results from government policy, and certainly actionable.
> To me you demonstrate only that what the article describes works just as well on hn as it does in schools. Dunking on easy targets for social standing.
The OP is critiquing an abstract system. You are attacking an individual. Which behavior fit the description in the above paragraph better?
The OP didn't critique anything. Simply decrying an entire institution isn't a critique, it's a denouncement. A critique involves analysis.
Also, if I violated HN guidelines, so have you, by calling me out in turn.
In a mild way, yes. The guidelines actually say to flag and not comment.
However, I didn’t try to insult you, and there is a difference.
This comment of yours result seems to be just doubling down.
> it's so easy to write off large diverse institutions as "fucking bullshit" and poison a discussion before it even starts
The commenter didn’t actually say this. You are misrepresenting them.
Also, they didn’t poison the discussion. It seems to have proceeded just fine, both in the replies to them, and elsewhere.
'<Agree collaborate to get basked glory points>'
'<take down, by proving status difference between op and self - either by lowering op(insult /humiliate/mock/intimidate) / raising own status (showoff based on anything)>'
Second, in many existing societies outside of the US school bullying is extremely uncommon.
if something is 'natural' it must be good/desirable
I'm surprised more people haven't read Michel Foucault's "Discipline and Punish", it sheds light on the way the prison became a blueprint for organizing labor, education, our very social fabric
The reasons for this are deliberate.
1. Parents are assholes. In poor areas many patents couldn’t give two shits about spending extra time to contribute to their child’s education. In rich areas the parents are at war with the teachers either because their little angel can do no wrong or because there is serious money on the table for scholarships.
2. Child performance is measured in numbers devised by standardized tests. The average of that performance is a primary determinate factor in state funding.
3. It would be nice if we taught children to think and to form original output. The sad reality is that most people, including adults, are utterly incapable of originality. Attempts to force that square peg into a round hole leaves many children behind while simultaneously confusing and infuriating parents.
Previous anti-bullying efforts focused on non-friend bullies, leaving a blind spot to this bullying between friends.
I think it should be a known idea to anyone who has ever seen a movie where a previously uncool kid gets accepted in to the cool kids group.
Trailer [en]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_-KrJseVUo
It's very hard to describe shortly... maybe: They start with you as human being first. Abilities and talents to be discovered and developing a humane human who can face the world. They don't treat you like an animal in industrial livestock farming. It has many layers to it, e.g., regular teachers and kindergarden personnel have the social standing of a Professor in your country (assuming 1st world not scand). Teaching the young is understood (like REALLY understood) as one of the most important things a country can do for its future.
I've heard all these things about the scandinavian school system before. Bullying never came up as a topic.
That is, they don't have one teacher who decides about things and especially the fate of the individual pupil but teams containing, e.g., psychologists who decide about things in the regular day to day business.
Of course bullying is an issue there, too. It is pronounced wherever you have esp. social inequality, and minimizing only works approximately. However, they are thinking about this in a progressive and especially compile-ahead-of-time way. The first research on bullying emerged in the 1970ies from these countries actually. See: https://go.gale.com/ps/anonymous?id=GALE|A75022135
Instead of a teacher whose job is primarily to educate, having to juggle the job of the emotional development of students that they will always see as a secondary task, there's a professional who is trained for that role who works directly for the school.
Funny. The worst bullies in my schools growing up were the girls.
And more employment for more teachers/guidance-counselors, etc.
The major figures in most kid's lives are parents and teachers, who are in an authority position; siblings, who have a complex relationship that often turns competitive; and their school friends.
Kids are missing a chance to socialise with children who are older than them, learn from adults who are not in an authority role, and to care for and mentor younger children.
Instead they spend all their time with other kids who are have they exact same emotionally immaturity as they do. You get feedback loops of bad behaviour, and put them in bubbles where their peers and their psychopathic games (like bullying) make up 100% of their reality.
The only consistent counterpoint I can think of are cousins, who are typically slightly older or younger, and are outside of kids' normal peer groups. As a result these are often very positive relationships.
One reason we chose a private girl's school for our daughter is that, along with traditional (horizontal) grades, it has "sister groups," which are vertical slices of girls from varying grade levels. These meet and socialize throughout the year.
And when I started bullying the younger kids I would hang out with, I was able to reflect on it later and stop being such an ass. Course, it would come out anyway, but not being trapped in one single group of friends and having to derive my social identity from that made it much easier to self-adjust. Looking back on those years, it's pretty obvious now just how much of what I experienced back then was that pecking order mindset.
Other point about cousin relationships: interaction typically happens in a context that includes other adults, another moderating influence. I think that also runs in favor of your point.
I suppose that's not the only parallel. Absentee authority figures is another one.
I don't think that's true but I agree with your other points if we agree that emotional maturity isn't a true false stage and that there are domains for which one isn't as mature as in another domain.
For instance, I learned at a very young age (3 or 4) that hurting others was actually painful for the other part. Not from receiving it myself but from giving it. From then I could never engage in confrontation/retaliation dynamics which put me at odds with others.
For instance, like many others, I was bullied every single day in middle and high school in the US. When I moved to NZ and went to high school(called "college" there), I was dumbstruck at how accepting people were of me, as someone who has been constantly bullied back in the US, that I had a hard time accepting it at first. I was so used to being an outcast that I didn't know how to handle it at first when normal kids would actually approach me in a non-confrontational way. By the end of the year, the most popular guy in the school was voluntarily helping me study for chemistry.
Now some of that experience may have been influenced by me being a foreigner, but my bullying was due to a combination of being nerdy and fat, so it would have made sense if at least some people bullied me in NZ. There was pretty much only one kid who didn't like me and had to make a show of it, but he was easily handled.
Put simply, I think that culture in the US and probably other western countries that are heavily US-influenced is woefully broken, but it isn't as apparent to the conscious mind because we've become very good at polishing turds. We love to paint over rot and create rules for ourselves that just sweep problems under the rug so that they only manifest in places out of our control, such as with the interactions between children.
To your point, though...
> Instead they spend all their time with other kids who are have they exact same emotionally immaturity as they do. You get feedback loops of bad behaviour, and put them in bubbles where their peers and their psychopathic games (like bullying) make up 100% of their reality.
This is true in more ways that you might have originally imagined. Young people, and really people of all ages IMO, should be learning from their elders. Instead, we put way too much emphasis on mere socialization and compatibility. In adulthood we're even worse in these categories in that we either socialize too much or too little, and fewer of us will tolerate anyone who doesn't tick off all our arbitrary boxes.
> The only consistent counterpoint I can think of are cousins, who are typically slightly older or younger, and are outside of kids' normal peer groups. As a result these are often very positive relationships.
Cousins, unlike siblings, aren't competing with their fellow cousins over the love of their own parents, so it makes sense that these relationships tend to be positive.
Kids are told they have to wait for certain times or ages to do things. That is a HS level shop thing. Oh you need calculus for that and that isn't till college.
We should find a way to empower any kid with ambition to take that as far as they want as early as they want.
No one unskilled should do dangerous things, rather than throw up comment like this, why not make a constructive one along the lines of, "when I was 12 I wanted to build X and it required using the large table saw. I had to wait until I was 17 to do that because using the table saw blocked me. How can we unblock kids from completing their projects?"
The idea is that we ramp the responsibilities and the agency as the person is ready, not by some date.
I have known 10 year olds that could schedule a 100 person party and 40 year olds that are incapable of paying a parking ticket on time.
The thing I take point with is bringing up the most extreme counterpoint to the concept I put forth has the affect of either derailing the conversation or shutting it down. Don't vanquish imaginary dragons, give cover to a spring flower in a hailstorm under blue skies.
If I could avoid driving I would probably stop that too.
I think about this as a parent. Letting your kid take risks is good. A jig saw can hurt! But that doesn’t mean a child should be taking mortal risk. A table saw can absolutely kill you.
No, that's not the problem. The problem is kickback.
Yeah. Parents and teachers are probably the people we should be training to behave better, not teenagers caught in a system they didn't design and often desperately wish they could escape.
Edit: I will add that a lot of my social problems in high school were rooted in or exacerbated by teachers holding me up as the example to hate on. They would brag about my high scores as if that somehow reflected positively on their teaching ability (it didn't) and then simultaneously act like if other people weren't doing as well as I was, it was because they weren't trying hard enough or something (disavowing their own responsibility for poor outcomes in the classroom).
That seems to be a norm in schools and is directly related to the described teen behavior in the article.
For adults, bullying, injustice, unfairness and exclusion is just standard, normal behaviour, especially at top leadership.
Somewhat. However, in contrast to kids, adults have rights and access to the judicial system, which makes bullying etc. harder.
This is why you have anonymous trolls but polite and civil strangers.
Except in the equally common cases where the judicial system makes bullying etc. easier.
This social issue of adults using children like this is extremely rampant. It's a phenomenon you can't unsee.
[edit: the one ray of hope? the teacher who ever took my side? arrested for sexual assault on a minor while I was still in attendance.]
Then there’s the nasty ego side effect of us all thinking we’re smarter than everyone else because we assume we’re the only ones hiding our abilities.
US Teachers are grossly underpaid and have to deal with tremendous amounts of training already...and stress. Consider in many of our schools, you have one teacher to 20 or 25 students, many of whom have undiagnosed learning disabilities, developmental problems, social issues, familial problems, hunger, mental health issues...teachers are already working insanely hard for low pay. I worked exclusively in struggling schools and I had kids with cousins shot dead, kids who literally jumped onto the table and screamed how myself and other teachers were racists, it's insane what teachers have to handle.
So no, We can't lay everything at the feet of current parents and teachers, there's a lot of policy, politics, and history in the educational field that no current teacher or parent had anything to do with. They're struggling and vying for success just as they see the children suffering.
I'm a parent. I'm a parent who was sexually abused as a child and succeeded in not passing on my awful baggage about sex to my children.
I took the position "The buck stops here" and was unwilling to accept excuses.
I was fortunate to be a military wife and it allowed me to be a homemaker. I ultimately homeschooled my sons for a lot of years.
My first blog was a parenting and homeschooling blog. I've had a few of them and none have really gelled.
I would love to be part of the solution here for the wider world, not just for my kids. I don't know how to make that happen while getting no real engagement.
Adults are absolutely the people who must be held responsible. Making excuses for why current adults can't do better by the children in their charge is part of the problem.
I'm fine with saying "The US has amazingly shitty policies generally and needs to be more family friendly." I get that.
But someone, somewhere has to take responsibility. And that someone needs to be a current adult, not a legal minor.
From what I gather, anti-bullying programs tend to try to intercede with the kids in a way that fundamentally doesn't work. They don't have the legal rights or agency to stand up for themselves.
Adults are the ones who have that. Adults are our only hope here.
Bullying used to just mean beating up people physically. That's changed. The US Government site on this says "Social bullying includes: Leaving someone out on purpose." That's overreach. The US has freedom of association as a First Amendment right, and that right is not limited to adults.
The article conflates socially competitive behavior with bullying. So of course they find it as associated with friends or near-friends.
What are the rules of social competition? This is a classic subject. See any of Jane Austen's works. Few people are taught this explicitly. Women used to be taught it in "finishing schools". It was part of the task of Oxford tutors to teach it. "My job is to make you a better bastard".
Right now, there's an anime running which teaches this: Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-kun. It's also a regular theme in country and western music.
How do you achieve that? By privatizing schools?
* one parent (with near certainty the mother) must stay home
* large extended families i.e. grandma raises the kids
It’s also important to consider that, for most of human history, a child who is with their parents 24/7/365 is an anomaly. Kids need socializing with other people, and parents need a break. The same way spouses in a healthy relationship need time apart.
Where do you get this idea? It's actually the opposite. Modern universal schooling is an aberration that only took hold in the 1800s, with some schooling for the upper classes before that.
For most of recorded history, children helped their parents around the house and field, with some going off to an apprenticeship around 12-14.
Kids spent a lot of time outside with their peers, and with extended families, neighbors, and even alone. Maybe not 9 hours per day (time kids spend in school (and "afternoon care" in my country) with both parents working 8 hours/day), but still a considerable amount of time, when they didnt help with the chores.
It might be anecdotal, but only recently I have seen the trend of parents filling up every minute of their kids schedules with after school activities, burning out their children at a very young age.
As for recorded history, kids had a lot more unstructured time to themselves even fifty years ago to play in the mud or run about the neighborhood.
After motor vehicles, there's a lot more risk to just letting them roam, and now you have to arrange an area where they can play and since there isn't a lot of people milling about outside that can watch them, the parents and other immediate family members shoulder more of the load.
Provide better support systems for poorer families - childcare, healthcare, food security, physical safety, and so on. Children from poorer, stressed-out families tend do worse in school.
> What can be better than what we do now?
HN threads on any education topic are always littered with oversimplified causes and "silver bullet" solutions. My guess is that it's mostly from the "nerds are cool" generation. Being on the cusp of the two generations, I'm not so willing to throw out the 100+ years of evolution in institutionalized education.
One thing we can do better now? Bring back and/or increase focus on civics, history, and social studies. This for obvious reasons, like the right-wing/populist political debacle, but also as a way to develop an inherent ambition as a result of a better understanding of our society and how it can be changed.
Extremism and populism aren't caused by children. In fact it's the opposite. It's the children that are fighting for rational causes. Why do we have "a" Greta Thunberg? Because adults failed.
because certain politicians and activists are willing to exploit children to promote their cause?
On the other hand, some people may have no experience of defending themselves particularly against non-verbal attacks.
I remember my response to a guy picking on me in highschool was to wait until class finished and then I started a fight with. I won. And he never bothered me again.
But honestly I had no clue how to defend myself verbally. And it's taken years to learn how to be better at that.
I think teenagers would gain from learning how to negotiate better with their peers/handle people better. It's the verbal abuse that's a particular issue.
Encouraging people to be decent along with civic classes may help too.
Sometime mid high school, my two friends and I went to pick up a friend from a raging house party. While waiting outside for them, a drunken footballer came over to us nerds and started to point at us, calling us losers. I, uncharacteristically, retorted back with false confidence, “yeah? I get laid more than you.” He was stunned and left me alone while he picked on the other two a bit more.
I had forgotten about that one. I don’t think verbal defense would always work, however. I don’t think it would have prevented the one asshole-psychopath who, years earlier, was a few grades older than me and locked me in an older refrigerator and when I finally got out, chased me and threw a hatchet at me.
This led to counselors and people telling me I had anger/emotional issues and I should just ignore the bullies. There's wisdom in ignoring haters and self-coping mechanisms but as a teenager in a forced social system it's not a great answer. This was the 90's.
I hope society/adults have better responses now but I doubt it.
Your anecdote is what popular attempts at curbing bullying have been trying to address.
Nobody is saying to excuse it or free adults from responsibility.
Popular where? At least the popular anti-bullying attempts in Finland assume that there's "2 sides to the story" and seek to find fault in the bullied party. Maybe you live in a country with different anti-bullying programs?
> Nobody is saying to excuse it or free adults from responsibility.
Let's just say we strongly disagree on that point.
It is entertaining to give people a venue to explain themselves and they reveal the weakness of their own arguments.
Oh yeah? Why don't you care to explain the "weakness of my own arguments"? You made the claim that popular anti-bullying programs specifically address high-to-low bullying. I disputed this claim, asked which region you are referring to, and explained that in Finland the popular anti-bullying programs don't work like this - instead they assume bullying mostly occurs "among peers" like this article suggests. Instead of answering which region / anti-bullying programs you are referring to, or perhaps disputing my description of Finnish anti-bullying programs, you simply imply I didn't read the article [which is false & against HN rules & not relevant to this question since the article does not address it] and just laugh at me. Sure.
let me know when you disagree with a part of the actual article, or actual study, that has nothing to do with how the title doesn't fit with your life experience. then I, or maybe someone else, will be willing to entertain the discussion about your valid experience with bullying.
man, that was harsh, I don't even know if I'm invested enough in this conversation to deal with this.
The claim that most bullying occurs "among peers" is the central claim in the article. That's the claim I'm disputing. I'm not sure why you somehow think this claim isn't made in the article.
For example, the second paragraph in the article states: "“To the extent that this is true, we should expect them to target not vulnerable wallflowers, but their own friends, and friends-of-friends, who are more likely to be their rivals for higher rungs on the social ladder,” said Robert Faris, a UC Davis researcher on bullying and author of the paper “With Friends Like These: Aggression From Amity and Equivalence.”"
The claim is reinforced in the third paragraph of the article: "Faris, a professor of sociology, said friends and associates with close ties to one another likely compete for positions within the same clubs, classrooms, sports and dating subgroups, which heightens the risk of conflict and aggression. This paper is the first known to show that those rivals are often their own friends."
Then the fourth paragraph of the article continues explaining the claim: "This differs from some common theories and definitions of bullying, in which the behavior stems from an imbalance of power and is mainly directed at youths in the lower social strata in school or community environments who possibly have physical, social or psychological vulnerabilities."
...you want me to continue? You want me to literally copypaste the entire article in the comment field and say "this part right here is the where the claim is repeated for the 11th time, and I disagree with this"?
whether one happens more or less isn't really the point. Its about identifying an underserved need and addressing it.
Well, now you're just strawmanning. This article is claiming that "most" (not all) bullying is among peers. You're taking down a hypothetical strawman argument where "most" has been replaced by "all". Why did you feel the need to invent this strawman? Literally no-one in this thread has misinterpreted the article to mean that "all" (not "most") bullying is among peers.
> whether one happens more or less isn't really the point.
Yes it is, it's literally the whole point of this article. This article would never have been written if its point was "some undetermined amount of bullying occurs among peers". This article was written specifically to claim that most bullying is of this kind.
> Its about identifying an underserved need and addressing it.
Sure, I agree this is also in the article. And I'm arguing they're wrong. They're saying that most bullying is of kind A, whereas existing programs are largely treating bullying of kind B. I'm saying that the opposite is true: that most bullying is of kind B, whereas existing programs are largely treating bullying of kind A.
Thanks for clearing that up
It is also not saying that adults are free from responsibility for addressing this. It is simply saying that existing anti-bullying programs are bound to be ineffective until they broaden their scope to include this category.
Right. And I'm saying that - based on my experiences - peer-bullying is not prevalent at all. I understand that "my experiences" do not constitute a peer-reviewed study, so take it with however many grains of salt you feel is appropriate. But don't pretend like I can't disagree with the article based on my experience.
> It is also not saying that adults are free from responsibility for addressing this.
Right, it's not explicitly saying that adults are free from responsibility, it's just implying that most instances of bullying fall into the "boys will be boys" category rather than a more serious category. And if you observe how adults are mostly reacting to instances of bullying in practice, they certainly don't feel like they have much responsibility to stop bullying. So we can observe a message being sent, received, and acted upon.
It looks like a breakthrough!
I guess reasonable amount of mutual violence between peers will raise the price of bullying others for fun and profit.
In reality, it's just shirking of responsibility. Schools neither care about creating an environment where bullying will be reduced nor about actually resolving cases fairly. Their attitude to bullying is to just close their eyes, plug their fingers into their ears and go laah-laah-laah
As such a bully can time their actions; hitting a student just before the teacher walks in. This is exactly how bullies can turn authority against their victims.
Than at later stages (starting from year five, I think) teachers were using bullies to exert control on smarter kids, not unlike prison/camp (the actual source of the theoretical basis for Soviet education system) administrations were using organized crime to control inmates.
Most of the bullying I remember from childhood was mostly of a boy already high in the social status, against one low in the ranks.
The receiving guy was not a threat to the giving one.
The stressors however, are often coming from relationships with adults.
As @animats points out, the research is not using accepted Olweus’s definition of bullying.
Instead they use aggression and bind it to bullying.
This very much scares me, specially how Kinney's aggression includes verbal and indirect aggression.
There are clear cases where most can agree something is verbal aggression. My fear is in defining the edges of these verbal exchanges.
Who decides the words said were aggressive?
In essence, the research reads like a further lowering tolerance bar for others' verbal expression.
In a dystopian world, the solution would be where all communications is passed through a system, and pre-approved prior to transmitting it to the other party.
Sort of like some system, say a social (media) service where we only display pleasing and pleasant images and text with appropriate tiny pictures representing positive feelings, while the service provider shelters us from aggressive thoughts.
personal anecdote: I was in the grocery store waiting for sliced cheese. The customer that was at the counter, asked for something and got into a conversation with the clerk while he was slicing, but I could not make out most of it. I heard "blah blah, and you can make blah blah great again!" The man behind me start yelling, how the customer at the counter was a (insert curse words, lots of WWII references), and cheese customer should die right there, we should all lynch cheese customer, and on and on...
The cheese customer's words were verbal aggression to the yelling man. Turns out cheese customer was talking about some engine oil for the clerk's high mileage car.
Was the cheese customer a bully? Was the yelling man behind me a victim of aggression? Was the yelling man bullied by the cheese customer? What if the discussion was between the cheese customer and yelling victim?
I am not trying to be flippant as these incidents no longer are theoretical, "oh this will never happen" scenario. I have seen other similar violent reactions from people just when the "wrong words" or words deemed by the hearer aggressive were uttered.
Anyone not capable of these abilities, with any weakness at all, could be singled out - to be fed to the wolves. Social abilities become a weapon, to vandalize an outlier of the group.
This theory should be easily testable. If another member of society - which signals frailty (old, handicapped, etc.) is present to this group, the bullying should significantly reduced or even cease.
Maybe people you don't have enough friends in common with feel like a different herd, and people have instict to bully the weakest member of their own herd, but don't care about other herds as much. Maybe it's because bullying a member of your herd allows you to rise to the top of your herd (which is the assumption of the article), while bullying a member of a different herd does not. Or maybe because when you start bullying a member of a different herd, the whole victim's herd may collectively turn against you ("yeah, he may be a loser, but he is our loser, so back off"), while bullying a member of your own herd is safe in this aspect. (Unless your herd has a strong leader who opposes internal fighting -- rarely happens with kids.)
So the testable prediction would be like: If you have a classroom with e.g. 29 white students and 1 black student, the white students will bully the black one. (Unless there is someone more visibly different, e.g. handicapped or speaking a foreign language.) But if you have 15 white students and 15 black students, more likely the white students will pick a white victim to bully, and the black students will pick a black victim to bully. (Unless the class is more split along some other trait than race. In which case e.g. the English-speaking students would pick an English-speaking victim, and the French-speaking students would pick a French-speaking victim.)
Someone might be difficult to work with through insecurity. If they assume that showing weakness hinders their ability to climb the corporate ladder, but are not confident in their abilities, then this insecurity may translate into bullying tendencies. They may seek validation through leadership, but find this only heightens their feeling of inadequacy, and resort to managerial force over discussion.
And a similar strategy plays out with harassment and even to an extent racism in high school. Oftentimes it's a strategic play by someone with high aggression and low empathy. That was my experience.
However, we're being told by the dominant Zeitgeist at the moment that it's language we should adjust and control and police, anti bias training and such. It'll take a few years for the blank slatism to be pushed aside and let science back in: hierarchies and competition are partially biological and begin in childhood, independent of what anyone teaches anyone.
I'd argue in high school female social status is arranged into stratified blobs but the dominance within those blobs is fluid.
Male social status is a dominance hierarchy of blobs, and males within the resulting strata will self organize into sub-hierarchies to protect against inter-strata conflict.
The other main difference is that females employ social status threats.
Males use outright physical threats.
> “To the extent that this is true, we should expect them to target not vulnerable wallflowers, but their own friends, and friends-of-friends, who are more likely to be their rivals for higher rungs on the social ladder,”
I spent 10 years working for a "Fortune 50" company. A huge media conglomorate.
This was exactly the behavior of low- and mid- level executives to each other as they tried to climb the corporate ladder.
I was bullied and then bullied myself - not proud of that, but it felt natural as it made me cool. Then, a handicapped guy was bullied by my friends and I was defending him and kept the friendship with the handicapped guy. My status fell dramatically.
Thinking back, I understand now the dynamics but I would have no advice to my child (if I had one) how to avoid being bullied or stop participating in bullying. My ex gf was a natural born leader, she was beautiful, tall, intelligent, but also a lone wolf. She was showing civil courage in school and was defending the weak ones without losing her status. But being pretty and a natural leader is nothing you can teach someone.
Probably you just have to accept that bullying is part of our social dynamic.
But as you say, it's also disturbingly like prison.
I think some of the problem is that you get your entire schedule dictated to you. It might be better if kids had a choice of homerooms, a choice of class schedules, a choice in "study hall".
I also remember in education that the teachers bemoan stratified academic classes, because the "smart kids are important for teaching the dumber kids" in peer manner.
Well, that always raised my warning bell, because those intermingled classes meant the "dumb kids" would bully the "smart kids" out of anger and frustration.
The smarter a group of people, the less violent they generally are. Sure the bullying may reduce to intellectual and social bullying.
But at least you aren't getting physically assaulted or threatened constantly with physical assault, which is much much worse, and don't let anyone tell you differently.
Gym class was also one of the worst classes for providing bullying opportunity, and I was forced to go to it, despite the fact I did very physically intense sports each season, definitely closer to the "prison" than the "structure" side of things.
I also believe this, but I don't know why I do. Is there any data to support this?
I always thought the brain looked like it evolved by basically adding a new layer atop the other. The primitive ones are highly refined by evolution and do their jobs well (breathing, etc), but the higher level ones do more complex tasks, but need "interrupt" mechanisms on the lower ones.
The youngest layer that gives us consciousness has to contend with emotions, the subconscious, instincts, hormonal regulation, reflexes, and heartbeat/breathing rhythyms that all exist for very very very good reasons evolutionarily.
So our brain is basically being run, motivated, and directed by animal-level evolutionary structures a huge amount of the time, and the ability of the "human" part depends on it's horsepower in the various talents like EQ, IQ, "wisdom", and self-restraint.
I believe self-restraint has been correlated with intelligence.
I guess other evidence would be various studies that the human brain is still maturing into your 20s.
As Madonna would say: there's no greater power than the power of goodbye.
What is this exactly? Why does it exist? Which societies have such a property?
Teaching empathy is of course difficult and don't forget that the bullied peers are also teenagers that might behave "weirdly" (no victim blaming intended). But the whole thing still needs to be taught as it is a horrible thing that exists in reality.
Compare this to drugs, STD, or plain old reckless behavior. You tell your teenagers not to take pills, use condoms, and not dive headfirst into unknown waters, right? Not everyone does this successfully, but there is no reason not to talk about it, just because your teenager will Roll their eyes. If that's any criterion, most parents would probably not talk to their kids at all between 12 and 20...
You are absolutely right.
- If you were an anti-bullying organization, what methodologies exactly would you device for parents and educators to intervene so as to train and teach teenagers to the point that bullying is minimized?
- What made the past and current anti-bullying organizations fail in their efforts?
- Do we adults understand what works and what doesn't in preventing bullying? What about bullying among adults?
For the last two years of my schooling I swapped to a coed public (yet highest scoring) special college literally just down the road. suddenly there was no bullying problem. I mean, compared to the other school it was practically zero. there was no uniform, kids could smoke outside if they wanted, you could not turn up to class, you were free to leave the grounds when you wanted. you could eat and drink when and where you wanted, and teachers were called by their first names. I couldn't even tell you if we had sports teams because no one cared, I literally don't remember.
whatever the difference, it's either not human nature, or it can be overcome. I've lived it, so I know it's true.
i hope that was that a deliberately joking use of the word 'compound' to refer to a school? (though probably how I felt about my first school emotionally).
we had very few expulsions at the first school during my time there. but I can remember several instances of kids bullied until they had to leave. honestly it all seems so unjust and barbaric looking back.
Typically one would just say - the school, or perhaps the grounds. Campus is also common; but generally in the context where the school has multiple campuses.
We punish it which creates a disincentive. There isn't any explicit anti-murder training we need to go through that's premised on a flawed understanding of human nature.
We've also made it so murder doesn't confer status in our society, which is the opposite case to bullying as per the findings. And that's rather unique to modern society, murder didn't always confer lower status.
That feels like "". What do you mean by "is human nature"? Very small minority would participate in murder, stealing, or rape, even if we created no disincentive for them.
It's also part of the nature of our close relatives, the chimpanzee. See "lethal raiding".
This describes a given culture, including upbringing. It does not describe human nature. (or specifically doesn't prove they are aligned)
We've got examples from other extremes too, like pacifism in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moriori
Picking which cultures you like as examples of "human nature" and excluding others isn't really a sound tactic of argumentation.
I have seen articles that say that if you ask a room full of women if they have been raped, you may get as much as half the hands go up. If you ask them if they ever said "no" to sex and ended up having sex anyway, up to 90 percent of the hands go up.
In most countries, the definition of rape hinges on the detail of consent and is presumed to be only something a man can do to a woman (though some laws are being updated). If you accept that forcible sodomy by a man against another man is also rape, prison rapes are quite common.
Human trafficking exists and every single instance of sexual intercourse with someone being trafficked against their will is typically referred to in articles on the topic as rape.
Then there is statutory rape, where someone is deemed to be too young to reasonably give their consent, so it doesn't count if she said "yes" to it.
Then there is date rape, which typically involves alcohol, a culture clash between people with different expectations for what would happen and tragic misunderstanding. Sometimes the guys will tell you that they didn't think they forced her. It's news to them that she felt forced into sex when someone shows up to accuse them of rape and drag them in front of a college review board or charge them with a crime.
A lot of people think rape is about physical violence. It's not. Most rapes don't involve beating the hell out of the victim.
It's a complicated topic, but rape is far from uncommon.
I don't know where you get your ideas about human nature from but they don't seem to fit with anything I know about human nature and I'm some idiot with pie-in-the-sky ideals prone to assuming people are just going to be nice because that's just the right thing to do and that, sadly, is often not the case. At all.
However, rape (no matter what definition) is not evenly spread, some groups of women are more likely to become victims then others. Perpetrators pick their victims in a sort of rational way - some are more vulnerable.
So if you bias the group the right way, you can get large numbers.
No, it's actually commentary on the fact that women themselves often cannot clearly state "I was raped." The article in question was trying to show that lots more women have been raped than will admit to it or claim it. But you can also read it the other way: It casts light on how difficult it is to define rape.
Rape hinges on the detail of consent. Even women who have been fed alcohol until they were incapacitated and then taken to someone's room will go online and say things like "I had sex with a friend last night. I'm in a relationship. I know I need to drink less..." and get a chorus of people saying "Honey, that was rape."
People imagine rape to be some clear cut crime. In reality women are often very unclear in their own minds whether or not they were raped.
If the crime hinges on the detail of consent and the woman in question can't state clearly whether or not she wanted it, much less whether or not she consented, then you have bigger problems in determining data than in how surveyors ask their questions.
Sorry, no. It was an article I read a long time ago.
Rape stats are an inherently difficult thing to measure well. I could, in all earnestness, argue for either much higher or much lower figures than the reported figures.
That's a discussion I don't care to try to have on HN at all, much less on two hours sleep.
It's easy to believe that it's "in our nature" because of the dynamics which you describe being so common in the most dominant society, which is the only society most people have experience of. But, as another idiot with ideals, I believe we should not view this trend as a fatalistic inevitability, that it will always exist no matter how hard we work to change things.
Most people are in a state of near constant existential threat, due to their impoverishment in artificial scarcity (so much wealth in the world but must of us have access to nearly none of it). So most people don't have the luxury of being nice, even if it's the right thing to do. That and the fact that most of us are victims of many-generation-long cycles of inherited abuse that can be so hard to get out of. We have in many ways only ever been taught to be cruel to each other.
If we all play along with the idea of this inevitability, as in the top level commenter's claims of human nature, we only make it more true and harder to escape.
There are cultures where a woman cannot accuse her husband of rape. If she is married, he has unilateral right to have sex with her as he sees fit, no permission required.
Rape is a really complicated topic and the detail of consent has only grown thornier in my mind over time.
While I was homeless, men were happy to offer me money for sex because it was obvious to them that I was very poor. Meanwhile, I was routinely told on HN "Get a real job" and basically quit my bitching that I can't manage to make adequate income from my writing.
I have six years of college and cannot manage to come up with an adequate income from "honest labor" but men are happy to offer me money for sex under circumstances that can be interpreted as taking advantage of my vulnerability.
There are women who argue that all heterosexual acts of intercourse are essentially rape because of the generally poor status of women's rights. If putting up with intercourse with some man is the only means a woman has of establishing an adequate income and the world will literally let you starve and say "Not my problem" if you aren't married well, dating him in specific, etc, is it really genuinely consenting to agree to sex to stave off starvation?
This is not a theoretical question for me. This is lived experience as an educated American woman still reeling with shock at how amazingly hard it is to get taken seriously as a person in need of an earned income and willing to work for pay while no one wants to pay me. They will take freebies from me, so they think what I do has merit, but when push comes to shove it doesn't lead to an adequate income for me.
It's not a thing I expect anyone here to understand or care about. I've been here long enough to know that commenting on it doesn't get me sympathy. It just pisses people off who would like to think of themselves as nicer than that, so pointing this out isn't going to be met with people going "Oh. I didn't realize that. Let's fix that. That's wrong."
It will be met with a chorus of "You are just doing it wrong." and no rebuttal on my part will ever be sufficient to have the issue taken seriously. I know because I've tried for years to put this issue into words and that's how it goes every time, without fail.
So if I were to cave and finally sleep with a man for his money after a decade or more of dire financial problems and failing to find any other remedy, is that really, truly consenting sex?
I don't think it is. It's not the kind of sex I'm interested in ever having.
I've had better. I know what better looks and feels like.
But my words fall on deaf ears and make no difference. So I have grown more sympathetic to strident feminist views, though I don't fundamentally agree with them and don't even self-identify as a feminist.
The murder rate has declined by about 50x thanks to modern society.
This is what I mean when I say that these actions are human nature. Only because of the state Leviathan and modern cultural zeitgeist have we been able to change this behavior from very common (in some cases more likely than not) to rare.
What's the murder rate of the Moriori? Is it less than 5 per 100k per year?
If modern society were to disintegrate, the murder rate should increase by 50x roughly as we trend back to our raw nature without these artificial attenuating forces.
> This is what I mean when I say that these actions are human nature.
That carries an assumption that modern society restricted that side of human nature. An alternative: modern society enables us to act according to human nature and not resort to actions necessary for survival in previous societies.
If modern society disintegrated, there wouldn't be a lack of society influence. It would be a different society. That's why we have the whole nature-vs-nurture debate which is not trivial. That's why I objected to the original claim. (Although as Doreen mentions, some behaviours are much more common than others)
To establish this, we just need to ask the question of what would happen if the explicit state punishments for murder, rape, etc were removed. The rates would increase significantly, implying that the existence of these measures is attenuating behaviour that's otherwise rather natural.
If chimps received an electric shock each time they tried to murder another chimp, would they murder less often? Yes, because that shock is attenuating their true nature.
Admittedly, "human nature" is a rather fuzzy concept and isn't a scientifically precise term.
Take Jason Hickel's critique, where he lies about the poverty rate increasing (when in fact it's decreasing according to his own data) and then hand waves away all the other metrics that Pinker discusses in a single paragraph.
Take Nassim Taleb's (who I usually respect) critique, where he comes off as a raving lunatic, accusing Pinker of inadequately addressing tail risks when the objective of his work is mostly descriptive and not pertaining to possible existential risks. I recommend you read Pinker's hilarious dismantling of that rambling nonsense.
Or the debate between Pinker and Gladwell where Gladwell totally ignores all the actual metrics that Pinker discusses and instead waxes poetic in narrative form, discussing single anecdotes.
Now I'm half way through this Guardian piece and I already had to stop. Just because some Enlightenment thinkers had truly backwards ideas - and I'm sure that Pinker would agree that they're extremely backwards - says zero about Pinker's thesis. It's a borderline straw man to think that that's relevant to his thesis. If the latter part of the article has a better argument, let me know.
Maybe you got that from the Wiki article on bonobos which includes a deceptive quote of a 2014 Nature article. What the article actually says is that bonobos have a genetic adaptation due to historic evolution in environments with abundance which either allows for phenotypic variation in response to current environment, or which has resulted in biological evolution to less violence as a general policy (which would indeed be "nature"). Personally I'm strongly inclined towards the latter hypothesis because it's the most parsimonious and fits observation better, ie the number of observed bonobo murders is near zero despite varying environments. If we find modern bonobos living in some scarcity who take up murder as a result, then I'll change my mind.
Chimps on the other hand are believed to be violent because it confers genetic fitness (as per that same Nature article), and things such as the age and sex of their victims is predictive suggesting they murder in order to eliminate competition. This is their nature in the sense that this behavior is significantly impacted by their genes.
Past research suggesting this kind of thing -- like the single study of a single tribe that you are giving us with your argument -- has been debunked by more nuanced, modern (and less colonial/racist) research. There are far more peaceful societies known to us than violent ones, though unfortunately we are mostly forced to participate in one of the latter.
Here's a study on middle ages Croatia where 20 percent of skeletons showed cranial fractures (which doesn't even include murder by flesh wounds):
Here's a study on London cemetaries which found a 7 percent rate (again this excludes murder by other methods):
"e.g. famine or other loss of resources, usually man-made by outsiders or despotic rulers"
Demonstrably wrong in the case of the Waorani. It was a blood feud going back generations, long before any contact with other societies. So yes, a Leviathan would've stopped it.
So culturally preserved hatred (which became an outlier over a period of time where other cultures preserved less hatred), not much different than the Hatfields & McCoys.
If instead you want evidence for the more general claim, you can look at some of the studies I've referred to in this thread (e.g. the one about London or Croatia), or just look up anthropological surveys of hunter gatherer societies that show murder rates 50x higher on average.
But, what you brought up is a very small part of world. And that small part of world has own governance structure too. They dont have social "state", but they do have some kind of social structures, culture, hierarchy, traditions and unwritten laws.
Also, how do you know those are murders and not wars or executions? Murder is specific thing, killing members of other tribe over resource is not going to be considered murder. Raising child to adult is expensive on food among other things, you do that to other people and you do that less to own.
Yet, we give Nobel prizes to murderers.
An interesting book: The Better Angels of Our Nature by Pinker
Only in some case, in other case, we justify it by naming it something else, like taxes, prison/capital punishment, national interest.
So clearly there is something (morale, social pressure, threat of punishment) that prevents them from doing it.
Adults can be plenty cruel. It's just typically done with more subtlety, sophistication and plausible deniability than is employed by teens.
Too bad we can't punish them for such uncivil performance. Maybe we should go back to putting them on stocks and streaming it to world. Even with some sort of nice remote online interaction...
I'm absolutely not saying the abuse given to customer service people get is justified, but it's not unprovoked either.
Turns out when you codify bad behaviour, you get bad responses to that behaviour. What's the justification for codifying that bad behaviour in the first place?
I've not heard of many teens (I'm sure there's a few) actively thinking of / planning bullying. Most of it is on a "why not, that's what I want to do now" level. The ones I've seen were actually kids on the very bottom of any hierarchy just acting out, not trying to achieve anything.