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PACER Center Action Information Sheets, ACTion Sheet: BP-1
Despite the significant impact that bullying can have on a victim, society often views it as acceptable behavior. There are many misconceptions that characterize bullying, all of which can lead to minimizing the behavior. In this information sheet, the authors present a few of these common misconceptions, followed by the facts. For example, it is a myth that bullying makes kids tougher. In fact, research shows that bullying often lowers a child’s sense of self-esteem and self-worth, and creates fear and anxiety. It is also a myth that girls don’t bully. The fact is that girls often use verbal and emotional bullying, and this behavior escalates during middle school years. Another myth suggests that children and youth who witness bullying don’t want to get involved. Actually, most children and youth feel they should do something if they see bullying happen. In one study, 56 percent of children aged 9 to 12 said they usually say or do something to try to stop bullying or tell someone who can help.