Bullying: Genetic Imperative?
By Bart Vogelzang

Bullying is running rampant throughout our society and yet age seems to be a somewhat defining factor. When one looks at the prevalence of bullying it is immediately obvious that teenagers, followed closely by those in their twenties, are the main culprits. Is there another similarity in these groups that might identify a possible reason? Indeed there is; breeding age.

Teenagers and those just out of their teens are in their prime hormonal breeding frenzy, when the body insists on recreating its genes with another. Society sends mixed signals about addressing this need; on the one hand telling everyone that they should refrain from acting on those urges, whilst advertising messages invoke an increased libido. Even TV shows and movies recognize the reality and increasingly depict teens as sexual beings needing to consummate their feelings with another, maybe many others. However, genetics also dictate that the best ones to do this with are those who are dominant; those who are at the top of the ‘pecking order’, at the very pinnacle of humanity, at least of those who are at hand.

It means though, that a pecking order is required, and it doesn’t take much thought to realize that such a hierarchy doesn’t need much in the way of brilliance, financial acumen, or even sightliness, but only a series of positions, each one ‘superior’ to the rung below. Sexual attractiveness is stronger for those higher up, hence they draw the greater amount of attention, and have the greater need to maintain or raise their position in the order. How does one achieve this superiority if one has had little time to develop natural survival skills, life experience, monetary gain, fame or notoriety? Denigrating another so that they drop down, effectively swaps positions, regardless of each individual’s true worth or value.

Once those involved in trying to achieve genetic reproduction have succeeded (i.e. couples are paired off), they remove themselves from the hierarchy and the likelihood of them bullying goes down remarkably. In fact, one can generally only find remnant instances of berating within the population of aging singles, who have yet to ‘lock down’ their gene reproduction opportunities. Eventually, as the need to reproduce slows to a near stop due to age, there is almost no bullying at all.

Sadly, the victims of the bullying are many, and each has no easy way to get out from under it. Often they will feel they have to make the conscious decision to also bully, thereby exchanging their positions in the hierarchy. Not all are gay, black, white, Asian, left-handed, poor, rich, jocks, nerds, wear glasses, have zits, or whatever. The victims of bullying are almost always perceived as a minority, whatever minority is the most minor and therefore the easiest to denigrate. Any that are not as minor will be higher in the pecking order, and the individuals may well join their fellow sexual beings in shoving others down in order to raise themselves.

Ironically, those who have no interest in being in this sexual genetic pecking order are just as victimized, not because they are a direct threat, but because they may be perceived as a threat, and so are often regarded as an easy step for others to gain status.

Of course one has to wonder if there is anything that can be done to make things better for those bullied, but it is difficult to imagine what. Any attempt to change things would likely be built on just another variation of the same thing, like bashing intelligence. Those who might be lower in this new order, particularly if tougher physically, will simply revert to their primitive instincts and physically bully others just like before. What is needed is a way to give everyone a sexual outlet for their genetic reproductive drives, thereby eliminating the need to have a pecking order at all. Free love and sex is the only real answer, but this author fears that this is never going to be accepted unless we change our current society, and those who profess to lead us, rather than let them bully us.