Speed Reads

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New study finds boys may be meaner than girls

Sorry, Regina George.

A study published in the journal Aggressive Behavior found that boys were mean more often than girls — contrary to the popular "Queen Bee" theory played out in movies such as Mean Girls. Researchers followed 620 students from six Georgia schools as they progressed from middle school to high school. They found that at each age, boys engaged in more relationally aggressive behavior (starting rumors or emotionally isolating a peer), as well as more physically aggressive behavior (pushing a fellow student into a locker), than girls. The study also noted that mean behavior of both types is most commonly displayed between sixth and eighth grades; by senior year of high school, the students demonstrated far lower instances of either mean behavior.

Pamela Orpinas, the study's lead author, told Time that more research will be needed (such as a national sample of students instead of a Georgia-specific one), but that the initial study suggests boys too need to be included in anti-bullying programs.