Girls, have you ever walked down a school hallway and had a group of guys holler at you? Have you ever felt like you’re treated differently by a group of boys versus a boy by himself? If so, you’re not alone! This behavioural phenomenon has been an ongoing concern since, well, forever. There are two words that sum up why guys in a group can act more disrespectfully towards girls: mob mentality.
“Often, boys believe that in order to fit in with their group they must follow along with group behaviour,” explains Alberta Provisional Psychologist David Small. “Even when that means teasing or bullying someone else.”
So why is it that guys who normally treat girls with respect get so easily influenced by others to act differently in a group setting? Small attributes the behaviour to low self-esteem.
“This may seem strange when they are nice to you outside of their group. Ultimately, this may be an indication that the boy is not secure enough with himself to risk acting different from his group. Standing up to the group may risk unwanted attention from the group itself.”
Of course, not all guys are disrespectful towards girls when they’re hanging out in a group – and fortunately, this bad behaviour is generally short-lived.
“This is usually something that boys grow out of,” says Small. “Choosing to reject group behaviour often requires higher self-esteem, maturity and a recognition that we don’t always need to please a group to be happy with ourselves.”
If you’re feeling threatened by a group of boys’ behaviour, you need to treat it as seriously as you would any form of bullying.
“Despite the fact that boys may feel pressure to act like their group, this is no excuse for bullying,” says Small. “If you or your friends are feeling bullied by others, you can seek out support from a teacher, school counsellor, mentor or trusted family member. You can also access resources online such as stopabully.ca or you can access counselling at calgarycounselling.com.”
So guys, think twice about how you treat girls when you’re hanging out with your guy friends – it’s time to realize that your mob mentality behaviour is actually just another form of bullying.Login or register to post comments. All comments have to go through a queue for approval to keep the nasty stuff out, but we'll post yours as soon as we can.