Thursday, November 26, 2015

Community Safety Bullying Covert Bullying likely to ‘cause the greatest amount of suffering' Social Contagion Rumour Spread Edith Cowan University 2009 National Centre Against Bullying Psychology Today Female Aggression

"...indirect (or covert or relational) bullying (or social aggression)
(e.g. rumour spreading, isolation and social seclusion which is more hidden)."

Covert bullying, which is often harder to recognise
and can be carried out behind the bullied person's back.
It is designed to harm someone's social reputation and/or cause humiliation.

The words now associated with female aggressive behavior include:
excluding, ignoring, teasing, gossiping, secrets, backstabbing, rumor spreading and hostile body language (i.e., eye-rolling and smirking).

Most damaging is turning the victim into a social "undesirable".

The behavior and associated anger is hidden, often wrapped in a package seen as somewhat harmless or just a "girl thing".

The covert nature of the aggression leaves the victim with no forum to refute the accusations
and, in fact, attempts to defend oneself leads to an escalation of the aggression."

(Bullying in the Female World
The Hidden Aggression Behind the Innocent Smile)

 Psychology Today  Sep. 3rd 2011

With the growing data indicating that, for both boys and girls,

covert forms of bullying are likely to ‘cause the greatest amount of suffering,

while they have a greater chance of going unnoticed by teachers’ [122],

it is clear that the old saying

‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me’

is not only inaccurate, but is also dangerous

in that it has marginalised the importance of covert bullying

in the context of school bullying policy and teacher awareness.

"...may have had an isogenic effect, forcing students to find more covert forms of bullying [108].
Borkqvist [109] used the term the ‘effect-to-danger ratio’
to suggest that in inflicting harm on another person or group of people,
individuals look for forms of bullying that will have the greatest effect
while minimising their risk of being caught or placed in danger."

Edith Cowan University 2009


A further aspect of using the peer group as a method of bullying is the opportunity for rapid transmission
of emotions and behaviours through a crowd, diffusing the level of individual responsibility [184], so that
each member feels less responsible for the victimisation, a process referred to as
‘social contagion’

[185]. This has the added advantage that if the aggressive act is carried out by a single peer, the person
bullied may feel that it is just that particular person who does not like him/her, whereas if the entire group
engages in the activity, the person being bullied is likely to feel that everyone hates him/her and that this
is due to his/her own personal failings [139].

Edith Cowan University 2009

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