In Life On Base: Quantico Cave, Stephen is faced with bullying from someone who was once a good friend. They live in a highly regulated environment, a Marine Corps Base in Virginia. Their fathers are Marines, and so they have a lot of common experiences, common goals, and a common bond in the Corp. Something has changed, and the bullying is physical.
The science of bullying has made many discoveries over the recent few years. Van Edwards, writing in Science of People, described for us the effect on the human brain when bullied. Threats and stress affect our brain chemistry in negative ways, and the effects can be long-lasting. Permanent stress, which for a child, bullying in school can seem like forever, may lead to permanent anxiety, according to Van Edwards. Cindi May, in Scientific American, explains that the brain experiences social pain in the same way we experience physical pain.
Bullying Has Two Victims
May points out that studies show that in the case of bullying, the perpetrator may suffer the same adverse effects as the victim. “It seems,” May says, “that bullies may have as much to lose as their victims.” Pappas, writing for Live Science, seemed to agree with the assessment that the perpetrator too falls victim in the scenario. Pappas points out that bullying is often used to maintain the pecking order, such as is the case for Stephen in Life On Base: Quantico Cave.
Don’t Be A Bystander
“We grown-ups have to be much more active, proactive and responsible and do something about it,” she said. “It’s not kids’ problem. It’s our problem,” Pappas said. Don’t be a bystander when faced with bullying.