A Conversation for Teenage Issues
The effects of Cliques on 9th graders in America
Lady Amalthea Started conversation Nov 5, 2000
This was a study i did for my math and science class in 9th grade. It deals with teenage issues such as fitting into cliques and how it affects boys and girls differently as well as the group as a whole. I apologize ahead of time for the poor presentation and analysis, this was, afterall, the work of a 15 year old.
"I have come up with many conclusions based on the data from my surveys. I feel that I have proven my hypothesis correct with these results, showing that popularity and cliques both do have negative effects on ninth graders today.
One conclusion I came to was that most females probably don't consider themselves part of a clique because they dislike cliques. However, most males (72%) said they do belong to a clique, and only 6% of them said they dislike cliques. It is also interesting to note that more females than males have worried they will be ditched by their cliques. With females, I would say that cliques seem to have a negative effect, but however, females who dislike cliques, for whatever reason, seem to steer clear of them. As well, males seem to think cliques are a good thing, and they also generally belong to one. This says that males are affected positively by cliques, and cliques affect females more negatively. One way cliques affect all ninth graders negatively, though, is by causing hostility. 79% of the population has seen cruelty to a non clique-member because they didn't belong to the clique.
Another conclusion I have made is that males are more aggressive about being popular, or moving up in social ranking. I came to this conclusion because when asked whether they would do something they wouldn't normally do just to fit in, more males said yes than females. Also, males didn't seem to mind that they could also get in trouble for doing it. Only 4% of females would risk getting in trouble to fit in, but 22% of males said they would. Almost half of the ninth grade population, 44%, have done something just because it was cool. But again, almost twice as many males than females said they did it even though they could have gotten in trouble for it. When asked if they would do something that could get them in trouble, just because their friends did it, over half as many males than females said yes. These results lead me to believe that females are more reserved when it comes to going out on a limb for popularity. Males try very hard to be accepted and popular, even if it means risking getting in trouble. These results surprised me, because it is a general stereo-type that it is the other way around. This obviously has negative effects on teens, because so many people are risking getting in trouble so that they will be more accepted. The only inconsistency with this theory is that 47% of males (almost half) said that popularity does not matter at all to them. I think these two results contradict each other because people are not likely to readily admit that someone's social status matters to them.
Another conclusion I have made is that people don't really know what it is that makes a person popular. I came to this conclusion because of the results I got to the question, "What do you think makes a person popular?" Although the most frequented response was attitude/personality, clothes was a close second. Many other materialistic things, such as hair, money, and looks, were also chosen more than once. The two responses contradict each other a lot, one being personality, what's on the inside, the other being materialistic things, what's on the outside. Because these answers were both very popular, and because the next most popular response was, "I don't know," I conclude that people do not actually know why certain people are considered cooler or more popular than others are. Basically, we are putting people on pedestals, and yet we don't even know why. I believe this is a very negative aspect of popularity.
Another interesting result was that only one person out of the entire forty-three I surveyed said they were popular. This leads me to believe one of two things. Either people today have very low self-esteems, and therefore think they are not popular when they actually are, or it really is only 2% of the population that is popular. Yet, my results show that 68% of females and 39% of males feel intimidated by popular people, at least sometimes. Is it really possible that a tiny 2% of the population could intimidate 56% of the rest of us? And is it possible that this 56% doesn't even know why the people who intimidate them are popular? I believe that this is a negative aspect of popularity. Whether the 2% of the population that is popular realizes or not that they are intimidating others, it still happens, and it is still wrong.
Overall, I think that cliques and popularity both have negative effects on ninth graders today. They cause intimidation, unnecessary cruelty, and they make people take risks they may not want or need to take."
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