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Why We Bully: An Evolutionary Perspective


Last week I highlighted that bullying can continue well into adulthood. Whether in the bathroom of a local middle school or in the board room, bullying continues to permeate our social lives, making people feel like victims, helpless bystanders and powerful oppressors.

As a society, we all agree this is morally wrong, yet one can find instances of bullying every day.

Recently, Forbes shared author Christopher Boehm, PhD’s thoughts on bullying as an evolutionary phenomenon gone askew. Dr. Boehm states that bullying behavior is found many species and is adaptive, “because you get better food or mating opportunities… In primates, studies have shown that the top bullies have more offspring and therefore their genes proliferate.”

Our moral backbone develops in spite of the existence of this primal drive.

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Why We Bully: An Evolutionary Perspective

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