Bullies Are More Popular

Scientists have confirmed an axiom of teenage life: Kids intent on climbing the social ladder at school are more likely to pick on their fellow students.

As students get more popular, they're more likely to harass their peers, finds a study that reinforces an axiom of high school life. The finding, reported in Tuesday's edition of the American Sociological Review, lends an air of authenticity to TV shows like "Gossip Girl" and the 2004 movie "Mean Girls." More importantly, it may suggest that efforts to combat bullying in schools should focus more closely on social hierarchies. "By and large, status increases aggression," said sociologist Robert Faris of UC Davis, who led the study.