It’s a sad fact that most young people experience bullying at some stage. But while boys and girls are equally likely to be on the receiving end, for a girl it’s more often hidden to the casual observer. That’s why it’s important for parents to recognize the signs of bullying among girls and be aware of its dangers.
Girl bullies vs boy bullies: the different types of bullying
What are the key differences between the way girls and boys bully or experience bullying?
- Subtle. With girls, bullying tends to be subtle. It’s more likely to involve social bullying tactics such as ostracism, alienation and rumour spreading than face-to-face verbal bullying
- Premeditated. Girls are more likely to engage in premeditated bullying, whereas with boys, bullying tends to be more opportunistic
- Psychological or emotional bullying. With boys, bullying is more likely to be physical. Some boys like the status that comes with getting involved in fights. Girls are more likely to be involved in surreptitious and psychological bullying (such as hurting feelings) rather than physical bullying
- Boys and girls. Girls may be bullied by both other girls and boys. Boys, in contrast, are more often bullied only by boys
When bullying is physical, adults tend to react quickly. With a girl bully, because the bullying is more likely to be psychological, it can be harder to spot – but it’s just as important to take action.