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Young girls and Our society 


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Published:  September 22, 2007

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Slide 1: Session 4 Sugar & Spice but Not Always Nice
Slide 2: Sugar & Spice? • Little girls are taught that it’s much prettier to be nice • Result = covert forms of aggression – Relational Aggression (RA)
Slide 3: Relational Aggression is… Emotional violence and bullying behavior focused on damaging an individual’s social connections within the peer group. RA is “conditional friendship”
Slide 4: Mixed Messages Our culture tells girls • You should be sexy but not slutty • You should be independent but you’re no one w/o a boyfriend Wiseman, Queen Bees & Wannabes
Slide 5: Types of RA • Covert Aggression – indirect or hidden acts of aggression, excluding, social isolation • Proactive – the means for achieving a goal. For example, a girl may exclude someone to maintain her own social status
Slide 6: More Examples of Relational Aggression: • • • • • Spreading Rumors Verbal Insults Teasing Intimidation Eye Rolling Taunting • Manipulative Affection • Three-Way Calling • Cyber bullying – Girls are twice as likely to participate in cyberbullying than are boys
Slide 7: The Realm of Teen Royalty from Queen Bees & Wannabes The Queen – charming to adults. Can out-argue everyone, including adults. Her friends do exactly what she wants. • • • • • • Manipulatively affectionate No responsibility for hurting others Seeks revenge May be arrogant, materialistic, selfish, superficial Value & self-esteem tied to what she has Right and wrong = loyalty & disloyalty
Slide 8: • Sidekick *2nd to the Queen *May be a victim/target *Gets her power by supporting the Queen *Sees the Queen as her authority figure telling her how to think, feel, act, dress…
Slide 9: The Gossip • Secretive • Good communicator • Perception of being a good listener and trustworthy • Appears to be friends with everyone • Needs to feel important • An actress • Uses confidential information to improve her position • “Don’t tell I told you this but…”
Slide 10: The Floater • • • • • • • • • Moves freely between cliques Pretty – but not too pretty Nice but not too sophisticated Avoids conflict Higher self-esteem Is respected Doesn’t try to rule but has influence Doesn’t want to exclude others Not socially competitive
Slide 11: The Bully • Defiant, outspoken, tough • Cruel to weaker people • Usually covert bullying – cursing at or about other girls, accidentally bumping into or hitting • Uses physical violence more than relational aggression
Slide 12: The Bystander • • • • • Neither aggressor or target Has to choose between friends Peacemaker Difficulty saying “no” May want to go unnoticed but has access to the popular group
Slide 13: Wannabe • • • • • Gossiper Pleaser All her opinions come from the Queen Won’t go against group Will do almost anything to be a part of the group • Often gossiped about & used by the Queen
Slide 14: The Target • Feels helpless & excluded like a loser or a nobody • Isolated • Appears defensive in order to shut people out & mask hurt • Girls within group may become a target if they question someone of perceived higher social status
Slide 15: • Feels humiliated from rejection • Feels exposed and vulnerable • May try to change herself in order to fit in.
Slide 16: When do you intervene? Is the relational aggression… • Severe • Traumatic • Ongoing • Involving a power imbalance If the answer to any of these is “yes” then definitely intervene
Slide 17: Prevention is More Effective than Intervention • Clear limits regarding unacceptable behavior • Encourage caring behavior • Regular classroom discussions • Inform parents
Slide 18: • Older grade girls ambassadors for younger grades • Encourage journaling about feelings • Mapping – Have students draw a map of the school and identify areas that are safest and not so safe • Have students trace hand. On each finger write the name of a person they can go to for help
Slide 19: Emotional Literacy • • • • • • • • Self-Awareness Decision-Making Managing Feelings Self-Concept Handling Stress Communication Group Dynamics Conflict Resolution
Slide 20: Be a M.O.D.E.L. Model appropriate behavior Observe girls Don’t ignore behaviors (call them on everything – eye rolling…) Emphasize difference between reporting & tattling Listen empathetically
Slide 21: Web Sites & Resources • • • • • • • • (helps translate text messages) (help navigating online terms & acronyms • • (allows students to bypass web blocks) •
Slide 22: • • • • • • • • • Simmons, Rachel. Odd Girl Out. Harcourt, Inc.: New York, 2002. • Wiseman, Rosalind. Queen Bees & Wannabes. Three Rivers Press: New York, 2002.

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