Adolescent bullying, for good reason, is a hot topic, and one of IUP's professors is in the forefront of the discussion.
Maureen McHugh of the Psychology Department this week caught the attention of LiveScience. McHugh studies bullying, sexual harassment, and especially "slut-bashing," the practice of peers labeling other peers as dirty and promiscuous, oftentimes in the absence of any sexual activity at all on the part of the victim.
"Their peers know what kinds of words to use to hurt them," McHugh told LiveScience, adding that sexuality becomes an Achilles heel in the beginning of adolescence.
"It is serious, and not only in terms of something as devastating as suicide, but also people not doing their best in school to live up to their potential," McHugh said. "They don't apply themselves, or they skip school because they can't bear to be there. [Bullying] has a huge number of consequences for a lot of people."
McHugh serves as the associate editor of Sex Roles and teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.