Girls versus Boys: Do They Bully Differently?

Do girls bully differently from boys? We wondered the same thing, so we delved into some studies to find out. Check out the results of our research!

Today we are going to look at a common question in bullying – Girls versus boys: do they bully differently?  As parents evaluate the issues their children are having with bullies, understanding the differences between how boys and girls act and react can be a great help toward prevention and after care.  The question is one that is definitely valid and worth asking, but it is also easy to see that there would be vast differences in how each sex would deal with bullying.  While not always the case, boys and girls do bully in different manners.

Related: Tips For Dealing With Bullying As A Family

Girls versus boys: do they bully differently?

Girls:  When you think about female bullies, you typically will find their actions not being physically violent, but definitely verbally and mentally abusive.  Girls tend to focus more on beating down emotions rather than the physical body.  This can in many ways become an even more difficult problem to overcome than if the child had been hit or beaten.

  • Tend to use verbal assault instead of physical violence
  • Focus their words and actions on very personal attacks to their victim
  • Will tend to bully in groups attacking one individual at a time
  • Practice exclusivity as a form of bullying
  • Focuses more on physical flaws as a reason to bully

Boys:  The classic beat down in the school yard from years past is still the most common form of bullying with boys.  Boys are much more prone to violent acts versus verbal assaults.  Being able to show their superior physical strength gives them the high they are looking for.

  • Resort to physical assault and threats rather than verbal abuses
  • Pick on those who are weak physically or emotionally and appear helpless
  • Will target individuals that are outsiders, different in appearance or obviously weak physically or mentally

Related: Tips For Dealing With Bullying In Middle School

There are vast differences between girls and boys when it comes to bullying.  While we wish that bullying did not exist at all, we must be realistic and appreciate what is true.  Bullying has become more and more prominent.  It has also become more violent, personalized and the lasting effects of bullying have become harder to overcome.  If you wish to understand bullying and how to stop it, then you must understand that boys and girls will bully differently.  Not only will they choose different targets, they will choose different forms of bullying.  From verbal assaults and internet shaming to the common physical violence the term always brings to mind, bullying is a real issue with our children we continue to need to address.

What are your experiences with girls versus boys when it comes to bullying? Tell us in the comments.

19 thoughts on “Girls versus Boys: Do They Bully Differently?”

  1. Elaine Buonsante

    My son experienced bullying from Grade 6 right through Grade 12. As a red head with braces the other kids really verbally abused him. Fortunately for him, he made some good friends and learned some good coping skills. He had the option of changing schools but believed the bullying would just follow him there. As an adult now life is so much better for him. I hope that is an encouragement for those kids who are struggling with bullying now.

  2. Audrey Fernandez

    Usually girls engage in social bullying and boys in physical bullying. Whatever might be the type, bullying is one of the scariest social issue for the children. The tips offered in this blog offers a great help to learn how to deal with it. Great writing!

  3. Ann Bacciaglia

    I am happy my kids are done school and do not have to worry about being bullied anymore. I think bullies are mean whether they are a boy or a girl they just bully about different things.

  4. Amy Desrosiers

    From Experience, I think boys bully when they like a girl, but dotn want to admit it. Girls bully just to be caddy and jealous.

  5. I think they both bully, but in different ways. I think girls are way more prone to be caddy and mean for no reason. Boys can definitely be mean too, but not as bad as girls can.

  6. Awe, I think girls can be so much harder then boys, girls have a really mean way to make someone know they don’t like them or the other person doesn’t fit in with them.

  7. My daughter says that in her school, bullying is more physical by boys, and emotional by girls. Also, she says that bullying by boys isn’t taken as seriously at her school.

  8. You know, I really couldn’t tell… I never had issues with bullies nor have my children, thank goodness. I know many of my girlfriends were catty when we were younger, but we all learned how to deal with it.

  9. This is such an important topic. But let me tell you from the perspective of a Mom of 20 somethings. They were taught (all girls) to not disrespect and to stand up for what is right and proper. Now all these years later they speak up when they see Bullying and I am a proud mother. No one deserves it but when we teach them early they just don’t do it. They understand feelings :)

  10. Girls and boys are equally vicious bullies but in totally different ways. Boys of course want to beat up their target. Girls are all about the emotional abuse of it. It’s gross all the way around.

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