Sunday, November 09, 2008

Bullies Are Sadists: Study

I don't want to get in to the Sarah Palin "fruit flies in France" pit of ignorance, but I really do have to wonder what people are thinking when they do studies like this one.

There's no way to expose the stupidity except to quote the opening lines of the article.
Brain scans of teens with a history of aggressive bullying suggest that they may actually get pleasure out of seeing someone else in pain ...

it is not what the researchers expected ...

"It is entirely possible their brains are lighting in the way they are because they experience seeing pain in others as exciting and fun and pleasurable," Dr. Lahey said.

Can I break from my normal calm and professional blogging manner and curse for a moment?


I'm going to lead with, "No shit, Sherlock."

Are you telling me that the reason that we haven't evolved strategies to correctly deal with bullying is that the people developing those strategies weren't aware that the people doing the bullying are doing it for their own enjoyment?

I've got my own kids now. At some point, growing up, I realized that there are two really important things I wanted to develop in my children. The first is delayed gratification. The second is empathy. If my kids grow up with willpower and the ability to understand people, it doesn't much matter to me how much money they make or what fame they achieve, I know they'll be good people. I know they won't hurt others and I know they won't hurt themselves.

But this? This nonsense? After all these years of "cracking down" on bullying in schools, the social workers and psychologists are just now scientifically concluding that a bully has a failed sense of empathy that enables him to enjoy the suffering he inflicts?

We should have realized decades ago that we were producing and harbouring little sociopaths, not figuring out just last week.

Maybe now the geniuses behind this study can start producing real strategies for dealing with bullies. Of course, the strategy already exists and it's the only one I've ever known to work. It is elucidated most clearly by Gina and Mercer Mayer in their book "Just a Bully". I highly recommend it to be read as a bedtime story to all children that might ever have to deal with this problem.

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1 comment:

thesharkguys said...

A sample size of a whopping '8' participants and the media fall all over themselves reporting on this shoddy study...

Deriving pleasure from pain? I guess these guys never read the personals up there in that Ivory Tower...sorry stuff