Most Helpful Guy
Simple but true reason: so they can temporarily ignore their own insecurities. Even worse are the mutual "gang up on" experiences where it seems like a good idea (and fun) to mutually redirect their insecurities on someone else.
I don't think it is a conscious decision to abuse and ridicule others. In fact they are very unaware of what they are doing, other than feeling some relief from whatever is gnawing at them by abusing someone else.
Also, if someone is brought up to be prejudice against anyone, they (at a younger age) feel like they win the love of their elders by pleasing them through being prejudice. But none of this reflects on a true feeling. Are you fat? Gay? Does anyone really mind? I DOUBT IT. Just another programmed, copycat response to fit in.0