WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – New research has found that “school girl behavior” or indirect aggression is displayed in some women who succeed higher than others.

Researcher Tracy Vaillancourt explained to CBS that “this type of hostility is used without getting caught; it is underhanded and not direct.”

“We do things like we exclude people from the peer group, we give the silent treatment – you know that customary I won’t speak to you for three weeks and then you have to figure out why I’m mad at you,” Vaillancourt told CBS. “We’ll spread rumors about the person, so we’ll disparage their appearance, we’ll suggest that they’re promiscuous, those sorts of things.”

She explained in the CBS interview that she felt it was important to study how women get angry for several reasons citing “most of what is known about female aggression is anecdotal, and if you don’t acknowledge there is a problem, you can’t change it.”

Men don’t use indirect aggression as much as women.  She noted that men verbally aggress against others while women indirectly do it.

Vaillancourt asserts that indirect aggression is effective.

“When somebody gives us the silent treatment, it really does hurt us,” she said to CBS. “Or when people call us names, when people say things behind our back we become depressed, we become anxious, we become suicidal.”


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