We always knew high school was a snake pit. Now research from the University of Georgia finds that although mean girls get all the press, boys are even worse.
The study published online in the journal Aggressive Behavior found boys use malicious rumors, social exclusion and rejection to hurt and manipulate others more than girls do. Data was collected on 620 students at six northeastern Georgia school districts. The students were tracked from sixth through 12th grades.
"Overall, we found relational aggression to be a very common behavior. Almost all of the students surveyed, 96 percent, had passed a rumor or made a nasty comment about someone over the course of the seven-year study," Pamela Orpinas, a professor of health promotion and behavior in the College of Public Health, said in a press release.
More than 90 percent of the students reported being the victims of relational aggression at least once, with girls reporting higher levels of victimization.
Orpinas noted there's little research on mean boys but recommended boys be included in the same programs that dissuade girls from being mean.
Watch a clip from the 2004 movie "Mean Girls."