Examining adolescent dating patterns falls under the study of

Examining adolescent dating patterns falls under the study of. (PDF) Adolescent Bullying, Dating, and Mating: Testing an Evolutionary Hypothesis

Furthermore, their social dominance and ability to con- trol resources are also likely to be reasons why bullies appear more attractive to partners than nonbullies as a signal that they could provide for and protect their partner and potential off- spring Buss, ; Volk et al.

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When compared to adolescents not involved with bullying, teens who bully others show as good or better mental health Volk et al. As previously mentioned, status and sex are two goals that are also believed to be outcomes associated with bullying behavior Volk et al. Participants then answered if they had started dating, and if so, at what age, and with how many different partners.

Interestingly, this same study found a positive link between social status seeking and sexual but not dating behavior Kelly et al.

To the best of our knowledge, there are currently no studies that measure bullying in conjunction with reported sexual behavior. They fail because they do not address the novel, sexually motivated goals of adoles- cents that foster new forms and goals of competition that are generally absent among younger children Volk et al. Current Study Given the aforementioned limitations, we conducted two stud- ies in which the relation between bullying behavior and both dating and sexual behavior were examined in a sample of younger adolescents and a sample of older adolescents.

In general, dating is a normative adolescent behavior that has significant links to adolescent development and psycho- social well-being Collins, After this debriefing, participants were asked to complete a second assent form because of the incomplete initial briefing. Bullies can also gain access to greater economic e.

In Study 1, victimization was negatively associated with age of first dating and positively associated with having had sex.


Material and Method Because the two studies generally relied upon similar meth- odologies, we present them in a unified methods and results. Peer-reported bul- lying was not examined in this study, although in most studies, peer reports of physical and indirect aggression correlated with peer reports of bullying at.

However, Arnocky and Vaillancourt recently reported that while peer-reported indirect aggression was associated with increased reports of dating, self-reported bullying was not asso- ciated with any increase in reported dating. The first envelope contained a parental letter of information and consent.

Participants were brought to the lab where they were briefed, asked to give consent, and then fill out the various materials. Upon completion, participants were debriefed and given 1. Bullying is a special case of aggression that is primarily differ- entiated on the basis of power Olweus, ; Vaillancourt et al. The methods of both studies were approved by a univer- sity research ethics board.

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Although a dominant social reputation is the best studied benefit of bullying, there are other benefits to bullying that have been noted in the literature. In both studies, we measured self- perceived physical attractiveness by asking participants how physically attractive they felt on a scale of 1 lowest to10 highest. In Study 2, victimization was positively correlated with number of sexual partners and negatively correlated with self-perceived likeability.

In both studies, victimization was modestly, positively cor- related with bullying and number of dating partners. Participants were protected from any personal liability associated with their answers, and participation was voluntary with no penalty for withdrawing.

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We predicted that bullies would report higher levels of dating and sexual activity. Participants were first asked to rate how interested they were in dating on a Likert-type scale of 1—3 corresponding to not very,somewhat,or very interested. However, we believe that the underlying differences between the samples are large enough for us to not combine the data into a single analysis yet still small enough to make a single pre- sentation more parsimonious.

Given that the selective regime used by evolution is whether a gene increases or decreases in frequency, reproduction is a key evo- lutionary variable Dawkins, To reduce participant bias, participants were told it was a study of peer relationships.

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Con- sistent with most of the previous literature on aggression, we predicted that dating and sexual behavior would be signifi- cantly related to bullying. Specifically, individuals who bully are more powerful than their victims, who in turn have difficulty defending them- selves Vaillancourt et al.

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In both studies, likeability was assessed using an item from the Strengths and Difficulties Question- naire that asked participants whether the following statement was not true, somewhat true, or certainly true: Adult extracurricular supervisors were briefed and asked to provide written consent to approach their adolescent participants.

Prior to addressing this question, we briefly review the literature on adolescent dating and sexual behavior.


This study also demonstrated that bullies appeared to maintain mod- est to high levels of likeability among their peers, in contrast with previous literature e. At a predetermined date, the participants returned their forms and received a verbal debriefing.

Both parental consent and participant assent were required. Moreover, a recent longitudinal study found that, over time, high levels of bullying were highly positively related to high social status as indexed by perceived popularity Reijntjes et al. Local extracurricular organizations were contacted through existing connections with the researchers and through phone or e-mail solicitations.

Dating and sexual behavior In both studies, participant dating behavior was assessed with the same set of several questions. In addition, the conflu- ence of increased bullying Volk et al. In one of only a few studies to directly measure bullying and dating, Connolly, Pepler, Craig, and Taradash found that bullying in both sexes was associated with an earlier entrance into puberty and dating at a younger age, more activity with members of the opposite sex, greater dating opportunities, and being more likely to be in a dating relationship.

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Thus, an important ques- tion for determining whether bullying is an evolutionarily adaptive is whether or not it is associated with increased mating success. Participants were recruited through the use of posters as well as the introductory psychology research participant program. From an evolutionary perspective, there are many potential reasons why bullies should enjoy increased reproductive benefits.

However, there is also a potentially darker side to dating.