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Dr. Carrie Keating, a psychology professor at Colgate University and a regular expert on What Would You Do?, says this experiment shows the empathy women feel for the victim. "You could see from their body language they had been there, done that somewhere in their past lives," she says. "There's nothing like body language to stimulate emotions and feelings that we don't even know that we have. So somewhere, sometime you've seen somebody who's been teased brutally this way, and women, I think, in particular recognize it hurts."

Lisa agrees and says she remembers being bullied in junior high school. "I definitely felt like that girl that was sitting there at the bench," she says.

John thinks the reason more women stepped in than men could be because they didn't want the fight to become physical. "That might be just an excuse, but men will tell you, 'If I step in, it could well lead to fisticuffs,'" he says. However, Dr. Keating says many women feel that words can hurt more than fists.

"Words hurt for a long, long time. Longer than a bruise," she says. "It's fascinating that boys' aggression may involve fisticuffs, may involve physical aggression. But really, the lasting mental impression is just as important because what you're learning from that kind of an episode is that you're powerless, you're rejected, and that affects how we feel about ourselves."
FROM: What Would You Do?
Published on January 01, 2006


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