You know, there are some days when you just try and understand why some do not see what is right in front of their faces. I know, I know….not everyone is going to instinctively get that bullying (Peer Abuse) is a serious problem and that maybe those who engage in these behaviors are “just not wired right”. Well, as an Adult Survivor of Peer Abuse who lived 27 years of this nightmare, I am here to say that yes, finally someone has done some experimentation on this. What I am referring to is a recent article published by Reuters entitled Bullies May Get a Kick Out of Seeing Others in Pain. A big part of me understands that again, not everyone is going to instinctively get this problem but a big part of me is saying “Really? No kidding!”
In this article, it states that a study was conducted at The University Of Chicago which used eight boys between the ages of 16 and 18 who have aggressive conduct disorders and eight who do not have these problems. The study consisted of watching a couple of videos where pain is being inflicted by people onto other people. A functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to track brain activity and when the video showed the pain being inflicted, those boys with the conduct problems would have a portion of the brain, the amygdala and ventral striatum light up, become active and excited. The other boys did not exhibit any of this within their brains. Of course, this was a small study and probably more needs to be discovered and tweaked before any conclusions can be drawn but so far, this has been found.
I am not really good with the biological lingo but from what I am getting, those who bully enjoy bullying others. I have always known there was a biological connection and that not all of it was environmental and psychological. Two kids can come from the same family and background and one could be a “bad seed” while others in the family do not have these problems. I am so glad that the nature aspect is finally becoming a consideration in all of this. Many criminals and prisoners thrive on violence, manipulation and game playing. It very well could be that they are suffering from the same problem? Those who kill tend to get a rush from it. Wonder if they have the same problems? I know bullies growing up would get violent and never have remorse but seem to want more and more of it. If this study goes further and they find this to be evident, then it will make more sense as to what makes a bully what he or she is. As children they hurt animals and think its funny. As adults they hurt others and enjoy it. I have never understood that but then again, I have always felt the bully was not wired right in the first place. A huge part of me is saying “What took so long?”
Elizabeth Bennett is the author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective and resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit http://www.peerabuse.info .