Alexandra Robbins is the author of a new book called "The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth:  Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School".

She tracked a bunch of students and teachers at different high schools, and developed the 'Quirk Theory.'  Basically, it means that kids who are considered 'unpopular' by their peers have certain traits, like creativity, individuality, and passion.

And while those traits might make growing up excruciating, because of cliques, bullies, and loneliness, it makes them more interesting and successful adults in the long run, and better able to relate to others.

So what does this mean for unpopular kids, and the parents who love them?  Basically, Alexandra says to suck it up.

Because unless the treatment of an unpopular kid is "extreme," it's better to ride it out, avoid encouraging your kid to conform, and avoid letting them change schools.

All of which is difficult, since the book says things are getting WORSE for kids today, and that junior high and high school culture is more stratified than ever.

Alexandra says it's because standardized testing encourages people to conform, and celebrity culture from the Internet and reality TV has become more pervasive.