A new study shows bullies have a higher social standing and grow up to enjoy more sex than their nicer counterparts.
Contrasting with popular belief, child bullies have higher self-esteem and sit higher on the social hierarchy, according to the research.
Jennifer Wong of Simon Fraser University surveyed 135 teenagers at a Vancouver high school, asking them to disclose how often they were bullied, played the role of bully or bystander.
The study found that bullies accounted for about 11 per cent of the group.
Surprisingly, she said, that minority scored highest for self-esteem and lowest for depression.
The study found that bullying was a social tool used (often successfully) to improve the social rank of the bully.
“When you’re in high school, it’s a very limited arena in which you can establish your rank, and climbing the social ladder to be on top is one of the main ways,” Ms Wong told the Daily Mail.
“Bullying is a tool you can use to get there.”
A companion study from Brock University also found that sex also came easier to bullies who were less likely to be virgins.
“Our preliminary research shows that they do have more dates but in particular the data is really clear for sex behaviour,” psychologist Tony Volk said.
Instead of trying to curb the harmful behaviour, Ms Wong’s study suggested that bullies needed more outlets for directing the detrimental behaviours.
Anti-bully foundation Bullying Canada co-founder Rob Frenette dismissed the study’s finding that bullying behaviour was hard-wired, genetic and very difficult to change.
“Based on our information, research and the experts we’ve spoken to over the years, bullying is a learned behaviour. If you dig into a bullying situation, there’s usually some underlying fact that’s causing a bully to act out,” Mr Frenette said.
The study relied on self-reported data, which may have skewed the results.