The Shockingly Young Age That Girls Turn Mean

At what age do girls act mean today? It’s not when it used to be.

I’ve had a good friend for decades, and we are anything but mean to each other. We are totally supportive: We call for advice or simply to listen to each other’s tales of woe. We worry when something is not going well in the other’s life.

Were we always this way? Not really. But neither of us can recall being overtly mean before high school — and my friend has laser-sharp recall for events in her life. But by the time puberty hit, something had changed, and we were excluding girls from our group and gossiping with the best of them, telling others not to vote for someone in a class election or not to invite someone to a party.

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