The Internet Squadristi start young

20 01 2008

(Image source: Wall Street Journal)

Today’s episode of Radio National’s Street Stories (audio available here) deals with the issue of cyberbullying among Australian schoolgirls, featuring the perspectives of victims and perpetrators, their families and their teachers.

It’s particularly insidious because often tormentors can disguise or hide their identity – allowing them extra licence to wreak emotional havoc on their victim. (“We’re Watching You”)

At least schoolgirl cyberbullies have the (albeit poor) excuse of cognitive immaturity*.

*Cognitive maturity: “the disposition to be judicious in one’s decision-making” (Facione et al. 1995). The conservative pro-abstinence/anti-condom think-tank the Medical Institute offers a potentially-useful neurological account of cognitive maturity–notwithstanding the dubious conclusions drawn in the article in order to bolster the think-tank’s pro-chastity agenda.

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