Canadian Children's Rights Council
Conseil canadien des droits des enfants
Bullying Young Children - Girls

Girls Who Bully - Female Aggression

Although young girl bullies might be popular in the younger grades, the other students tend to turn against them by Grade 6.

We all had that neighbourhood bully that we all avoided after school. Usually the bully was a boy who liked to beat up kids smaller than him. Although boys use physical intimidation such as hitting, tripping, kicking and shoving, or stealing possessions, girls use psychological ammunition, something which is often more hurtful. Young girls often try to intimidate and emotionally bully others girls by not inviting them to birthday parties, not allowing others to befriend them on the playground or during lunch and by saying mean things about them.

Traits of Girl Bullies

  • use emotional bullying most often, though more girls are also using physical and cyber bullying
  • will spread rumours and gossip to ostracize other girls
  • will socially isolate other girls to intimidate them
  • tend to be quite capable, charismatic and have strong verbal skills
  • tend to fall out of favour at school, due to their bullying, by Grade 6

Reasons Girls turn to Bullying

  • According to the World Health Organization, 70% of aggressive girls have witnessed or experienced verbal, physical, or sexual abuse themselves.
  • Many girls observe their parents or caregivers withholding affection or acting out in order to manipulate people or situations. When their demands are met, they heap attention on the other person. Young girls will mimic this behaviour with their peers to get their way.
  • Media depictions are more likely to portray women who use violence to solve problems or gain respect.

Dealing with Girl Bullies

  • Ensure that you have a safe home environment.
  • Pay attention to how you treat others, especially those in the home.
  • Try to resolve conflicts in a way that does not involved manipulation or name-calling.
  • Be observant and be available for questions or help if your daughter needs it.
  • Enable your child to find additional activities where they fit in and are respected
  • Parents and teachers need training to teach girls to resolve conflict in non-violent ways and need to provide safe environments in which mediation and respect are the norm.