2010 June 18 Friday
New Crackpot Education Theory Against Best Friends

Anything that hints at exclusivity is evil - especially at the most exclusive liberal private schools.

Most children naturally seek close friends. In a survey of nearly 3,000 Americans ages 8 to 24 conducted last year by Harris Interactive, 94 percent said they had at least one close friend. But the classic best-friend bond — the two special pals who share secrets and exploits, who gravitate to each other on the playground and who head out the door together every day after school — signals potential trouble for school officials intent on discouraging anything that hints of exclusivity, in part because of concerns about cliques and bullying.

“I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis. “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”

“Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend,” she continued. “We say he doesn’t need a best friend.”

Real life apes Brave New World. Do they even know they are trying to recreate a bizarre classic science fiction society? Will they next teach against marriage because it tends to encourage exclusivity? This is the next logical step. Legalize gay marriage just in time to work for a ban against marriage and a ban against long term relationships.

We can expect nothing better from an education establishment that enforces an ideology over empirical evidence.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 June 18 10:26 PM  Cultural Wars Western

Mr. Gruber said at June 19, 2010 10:54 AM:

Get ready for 'best friend crime'. Seriously, if we are going to realise total equality, which every right thinking citizen of course strives for, then we can't have people showing preference for 'best friends' or family members or spouses or people you just might like the look of. That is discrimination!

miles said at June 19, 2010 4:51 PM:

They are trying to implement policies designed to utilize group peer-pressure to change social norms: mainly interracial dating. If they can use a bottle-opener to pry best friends apart and deposit them into groups, a child will not have that "rock" to latch on to in order to resist, but will be faced with social exclusion of the larger group if they do not sway to peer pressure.

How many bullies go about in pairs? Very few. Most bullying groups are larger than that. This is just an excuse.

Randall Parker said at June 20, 2010 1:29 PM:

Mr. Gruber,

Yes, friendship should be taboo. We should love and interact with everyone equally. If one even goes to the same grocery store every week it shows an emotional attachment.

People should move around so they do not get emotionally attached to place. They should move between racially mixed group homes in different states and countries.


Some bullies are lone rangers looking for group acceptance by picking on less popular people. Bullies beat up on unpopular kids in order to gain group acceptance.

In their work, the researchers questioned almost 500 elementary-school children ages 9 to 12. Based on their findings, they conclude that bullies generally choose to gain status by dominating their victims. But at the same time, they try to reduce the chances that they'll end up on the outs with other classmates by choosing as victims children who are weak and not well-liked by others. In short, even bullies care a lot about others' affection and don't want to lose it.

Gender also plays a role. For example, the study finds that at this age, bullies only care about not losing affection from classmates of their own gender. So when boys bully boys, it doesn't matter whether girls approve or disapprove. The same holds for girls. Moreover, boys will bully only those girls that aren't well liked by other boys, regardless of what girls think about it, and girls will do the same in their bullying of boys.

So if bullies had best friends they might not feel as strong a need to play to the group.

Mike said at June 28, 2010 7:06 PM:

Actually leftist could be shooting themselves in the foot here. Most left liberals tend to be introverts (or at least at a higher rate than those on the right)and introverts tend to have small numbers of close friends as opposed to large numbers of shallow friends. Subsequently messing about with introverts socialisation by making them hang around with extroverts them don't want to hang around with could drive more of them to the right.

some guy said at July 10, 2013 3:27 PM:

How could you post that, Randall? Friendship should never be a taboo. Instead, it's important. Without friendship, everyone in this world would be total enemies to each other and there would be no peace. Instead, chaos would reign supreme. And that's far from acceptable.

If I meet you in real life and I go out of my way to prejudiced to you, you'd likely want me gone forever. So I insist that you rethink about friendship being a taboo. Otherwise, you'd make many enemies for being biased.

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