Social Cruelty Might be a Learned Behavior

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by exwhyzee, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. exwhyzee

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    Children who ostracize or gossip about other kids have likely picked up that behavior from their peers, families or teachers, according to new study findings.

    In a study of identical and fraternal 6-year-old twins, a group of Quebec researchers found that approximately 60 percent of children's physical aggression - biting, hitting or slapping another child - is inherited. In contrast, only 20 percent of social aggression - more subtle forms of cruelty, such as gossiping, or excluding another child - is fueled by a child's genetic makeup.

    This suggests that most children who are socially cruel to other children have likely learned it from their environment, meaning the people around them, study author Dr. Mara Brendgen of the University of Quebec at Montreal told Reuters Health.

    Brendgen added that the study also showed that physical aggression tends to lead to social aggression, but not the other way around, which helps explain why physical aggression often diminishes with age, while social aggression increases.

    Typically, children are more likely to be punished for physically attacking another child than for socially attacking them, the researcher explained, so as children age, they may transition toward tactics that they are more likely to get away with.

    Read more here.

    So, according to these findings, those who bully and/or gossip have learned this behavior from friends and family. Do you think these characteristics are from nature...or are they nurtured? What did you learned about gossip and cruelty in your childhood?
     
  2. plumbr

    plumbr Member

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    Nurtured. I believe when a child is born, he/she is a tabula rasa (latin for blank slate). It's what they experience that imprints on the slate and becomes a presentation. I feel if a child was raised to become a mass murderer, all you have to do is just raise one. Unless, if the child has great intellect, he/she will be chained to that lifestyle forever.
     
  3. nudeyorker

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    I think it's 90% nurture and 10% nature!
    Are people born happy? Are they born angry? Did the happy child who was bullied on the playground become a bully him/herself or rise above it and remain happy?

    There are also self esteem issues at play here and goes back to the playground and seventh grade cafeteria mentality, the people who feel like they are higher on the food chain will abase those that they consider lower to raise their own value in their own mind.
     
    #3 nudeyorker, Dec 4, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2008
  4. Scrufuss

    Scrufuss New Member

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    However, it has been proven that socio paths are often a victim of a rare brain disorder. Where the part of the brain that controls emotions is smaller then the norm... I know I know SITE a refrence... It was on the history channel.. OH geeez nevermind.
     
  5. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    wouldn't go so far as to say tabula rosa
     
  6. B_cigarbabe

    B_cigarbabe New Member

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    Oh I see.
    So everything the intellectually dishonest represent they aquired
    from their screwed up family life?
    Yes! It all makes sense now.
    I can see clearly now that the crap is raining down on me.
    Can I have an umbrella?
    Or three?
    C.B.:sasmokin:
     
  7. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    here you go

    :umbrella::umbrella::umbrella:
     
  8. exwhyzee

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    The pink table? :tongue:

    I think there may be cases in which a kid is yelled at by a parent, and then might demonstrate the same behavior on his/her classmates.

    I am certain that sarcasm and wit are cultivated early in life. By the same token I could see that bitterness and negativity could be learned too.
     
  9. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    :redface:
     
  10. Mem

    Mem
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    I think some people such as Jeffrey Dahmer are just bad seeds.
     
  11. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    This is interesting.

    My parents were very angry people with each other. It was that typical WASP suburban thing where no one knew what was going on but those of us inside the home. I remember very clearly as a child when they fought, how vicious they were with one another, using adultspeak I didn't understand, convoluted code words they knew would wound. Very Virginia Woolf. Twisting things and hurling accusations and coming at each other from different angles with words as though they were weapons made of steel. I was 7 or 8 and I would tell my little brother to go back to bed and I'd go into my 4 year old sister's room and put a pillow over her head so she wouldn't hear.

    Later, after the divorce, they each made me their best friend and confidante and they told me everything about each other. Much more than they ever should. I think I felt very grown up then, but it was much, much more than a child should have ever have had to know or deal with. I had to weigh out and, in my head, process and ultimately judge a lot of information at a very young age. In reality, it took me many years to do it.

    When I became a man, or perhaps as I become one because it's all a work in progress, what I learned most from them in those moments is what not to do. Doublespeak is never ok. Lying is wrong. Motives need to be pure. Deliberate cruelty is the greatest sin of all.

    My parents weren't bad people but they were bad with each other. I reacted so far in the other direction that I'm sometimes misunderstood. Honesty isn't a trait that is of much political use in the world. Certainly directness isn't. It's part of the reason why I derailed the career I'd hoped for with the State Department, despite my uncle. I just knew I wouldn't be good at certain necessary parts of it.

    Yes, I'm born with their genes. Perhaps growing up around them should have taught me to be like them. But it didn't. Quite the opposite.

    I loved and love them, but I learned to be a much better man.
     
  12. plumbr

    plumbr Member

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    Thanks for sharing. I'm sure your circumspection and independence has got you going to where you are today.

     
  13. Principessa

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    Social cruelty has to be learned behavior. Not everyone is born with sadistic sociopathic tendencies.
     
  14. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Oh I so agree with that idea that it is learned. Children learn very quickly what they can get away with, a good example of it is in the new movie "Cliques"? I think that's what it's called. Anyways it shows just how cruel people can be to each other, and get away with it.
     
  15. curious n str8

    curious n str8 New Member

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    Some are born with exactly those tendencies.Lets not forget what alcohol and drugs taken during pregancy can do to a developing child. ADHD and FAS, fetal alcohol syndrom for instance.
     
  16. vince

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    The "in crowd" can be so cruel.

    I agree that most behaviour is learned. Kids will learn all kinds of negative things just from being out there in the world. Parents have to be there to counter the bad and encourage/reinforce the good.
     
  17. whatireallywant

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    Having grown up being adversely affected by social cruelty, I agree. My parents did the best they could, given their health problems during this time. Although they did buy into the sexism I encountered after I got to school, while not raising me that way as a preschooler. I never could understand that. I know they were wanting me to "fit in", but I was too active a girl to fit in with the other girls who just sat around and did nothing. If I couldn't be active I got very fidgety and disruptive.

    As an adult I even encountered some cruelty (not as much) while I was still living in the area where I grew up. It was only when I moved to a city that I escaped it. I think there is a difference in mind-set between the people where I grew up, and the people in the two cities where I've lived. And there is some difference in mind-set between the people in each of the two cities as well. I fit in better here than anywhere I've lived before, socially at least (although financially I was better off in Indianapolis).

    However, something else I encountered, even where I grew up, is that some of the kids who were cruel to me in school, after a few years out of school if I encountered some of them again, they were not cruel to me at that time. I think they didn't feel the peer pressure anymore so they were more true to themselves and not truly cruel people. But others, even after having been out of school for years, completely snubbed me. This was especially true among the kids I went to elementary school with, rather than the ones I met when I got to high school. But then, they were in a group of people from school, so they could still have the peer pressure at work there, even though they were in their thirties at the time!
     
  18. Principessa

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    As an educator I'm aware of the adverse affects of all of those things. FAS is particularly abhorrent because it's so preventable.:mad:
     
  19. exwhyzee

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    I'm guilty of having been in a clique in high school. Ours was the "somewhat misfit, cutting edge, fun-but-not-popular-like-a-jock-or-prom-queen" crowd. The school I attended discouraged cliques, and the faculty and staff were constantly trying to break us up as a pack (encouraging us to not sit together at meals, dividing us up for activities). The more they tried, the more we fought to stay together.

    I remember one Saturday were all lounging about watching TV, and a guy named Will (who was a bit nerdy and awkward) came in to spend time with us. Conversation rambled along...and he kept inserting contributions that the rest of us didn't find very funny. Finally, one of the Alpha girls in the group let Will have it, telling him that he was a dork, and that none of us liked him, and we didn't know why he hung out with us all the time, and we wished he would just leave.

    The rest of us were just shocked. Some of what she said was true, but not all of it. There was an awkward silence and no one could look Will in the eye. I spoke up by addressing the girl, saying "I think we are all pretty shocked at what you just said, and I don't think it was very appropriate...or nice." Everyone else nodded. I felt so bad for Will...who was pretty stunned by what had transpired. He wasn;t my favorite person, but he didn't desrve that kind of treatment.

    From then on, I tried not to be so cliquey anymore, and I never stood aside to watch bullying take place. I loved all my close friends, and I loved being around them...but I began to diversify. Peer acceptance is such a strong need in kids...sometimes to the sacrifice of others.

    Funny, I have never talked about this incident since it happened.
     
  20. BiItalianBro

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    Cliques are intertwined in the teenage experience like acne and masturbation. It has always been that way and always will be. It is a time to 'define' ones personality and find your own voice. As social animals, it is difficult to do alone, and my cliques were like mirrors of myself (or what I thought was myself). I jokingly refer to my teenage years with my oldest son as being an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. The physical and social aggression went hand in hand with that. Then you grow out of it...its called maturity lol.
     
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