Teenage Bullying: a Global Epidemic
Written by Cristo Rogers, in Section Articles
Teenage Bullying, A Global Issue
Pop Quiz: What do American teenagers have in common with the children of Pakistan, Uganda, and Sierra Leonne? Answer: They all live in fear of constant bullying
Believe it or not, bullying is a global issue, even in war-torn areas such as the ones listed above.
UNICEF conducted a portal U-report that included 100,000 teens from developing 3rd world nations, such as Mozambique, Swaziland, Mali, Guinea, and Zambia. In addition to being in constant fear for their lives, children from these warring nations also say they live in fear of the constant torment of neighborhood bullies.
Author's Note: The only developed country in the study was Ireland, who also admitted to having a social epidemic of harassers.
Teenage Bullying: More Than Just An American-Childhood Phase
Teenage cultures of the world are separated by mountains, oceans, politics, skin color and religion. Even so, all of the world's teenagers, regardless of which continent they live on, God they worship, or social unrest they endure on a daily basis, say that bullying is a major problem in their community.
In fact, 90% of the world's teens admit that everyday harassment at the hands of bullies is the worst part of their daily struggle. This came as a shock to researchers who were surprised to discover that, out of all the horrific aspects of 3rd world children's lives, harassment from bullies remains to be their greatest concern.
The disenfranchised youth of the world's problem with bullying serves as quantifiable proof that it is more than just a "teenage behavior children grow out of." Needless to say, it's reasonable to suggest that bullying is a severe issue of concern for America if the world's poorest children - who are all-too-familiar with the severity of life's cruelty - say it is their greatest fear.
So, the next time someone gives you the whole, "bullying isn't a genuine problem in our culture, it only toughens kids up!-argument," remind them that 9 out of 10 teens from 3rd world nations (who encounter unimaginable suffering including, starvation, national famine and political violence in ways we privileged Americans could not even fathom) still maintain that bullying is the worst part of their lives.
"Kids can be cruel, and usually are when there is an opportunity," Kseniya, 18, of Ukraine told UNICEF. "When someone is too loud, quiet, honest, weird — simply different — there's a high chance that the group would not accept him or her and make this person an outsider."
Out of all of the countries on the list, the youth of Sierra Leone reported the highest percentage of bullying. According to the polls, 72 % of the country's young people reported suffering from bully harassment. Uganda and Nigeria weren't too far behind with 70% and 69 %, respectively.
Teenage Bullying: As Ancient As It Is Devastating
Bullying has been around since the dawn of time. Sumerian children of ancient Mesopotamia would likely have had similar results if polled 6,000 years ago. While it is inconceivable to completely eradicate consistent adolescent harassment, there are ways in which we can help.
By increasing awareness about the dangers and psychological damages of bullying, we can curb the overall devastation of child harassment.