School children who bully may face higher risks of anxiety, depression, sexual identity problems and even infertility later in life, a new study finds.
The study, which followed more than 10,000 pupils in British schools, found that boys and girls who bullied other children were at greater risk than their peers of needing psychiatric treatment in their teens or early 20s.
The findings, reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry, also found that boys who bullied were at least 4 times as likely to divorce compared to their victims. The study suggested that bullies believed that they could always get their own way by intimidation and whereas this might work in a school playground it doesn't always make for a happy marriage.
Anthony Jordan 45, a childhood bully at Claremont High School in NW London from 1976-80 admits his life has gone tragically downhill since he left the classroom.
"School was fantastic. I so enjoyed humiliating other kids. Any sign of weakness or difference and I was at them. To take all my teenage frustrations out on the gentle and sensitive was just amazing. The best was when I would threaten to 'get them at the gates'. I know people will find this difficult to understand but to see them squirm all day was a real buzz".
However the unemployed pastry chef from Uxbridge, Middlesex has not had it so easy since leaving school equipped with only a CSE Grade 2 in History and a satchel full of bad attitude.
"It is true things have not quite gone according to plan since 1980. I have been married a couple times and don't see much of the kids but I would like it to be known that financially I came off best on both occasions."
Speaking to the Spoof's science correspondent, Dr Robin Goodwyn head of Psychological Studies at Bath University said:
"School bullies never really learn effective means of communication consequently they struggle with interpersonal relationships later in life. Studies show that many go on to have problems with drugs and alcohol whilst even more end up as merchant bankers. I must say it is rare for them to become pastry chefs."
Goodwyn continued: "Conversely many children who were bullied at school go on to become very rounded individuals. The Art world is littered with victims of playground violence (*). Boys especially seem to fare very well in later life. It may be because of the emasculation that takes place in the teenage years but many male victims find they become sensitive to female psychological needs and consequently often make excellent husbands and fathers".
Award winning writer and broadcaster Peter Musgrove himself a victim of bullying maintains that the experience has made him the "man" he is today.
"I cannot say my school years were enjoyable. I vividly remember being forced to wear ladies underwear throughout the summer of 1979. It is not easy to write an essay on Disraeli's foreign policy with a pair of crimplene knickers cutting into the top of your thigh".
"Humiliating though it was I don't feel it has done any long term damage. I am now happily married with four wonderful children and apart from the occasional need to cross-dress I believe I have been largely unaffected by my experience. I heard that the bully concerned, Daniel Scott of 5 Northwick Park Road, Harrow was recently arrested for performing a sexual act on a mannequin doll in London's Oxford Street. I slept well that night."
(*) Famous victims of childhood bullying include comedian and marathon runner Eddie Izzard, singer songwriter Morrissey, Roly Poly actor Christopher Biggins and President Mubarak of Egypt.