Mom of 3,
I'm not so convinced there's more bullying today than in the past. I was bullied plenty, and (sadly) did some bullying myself. I think it's the nature of kids. But, you're right. Whenever my parents learned of my (minimal) bullying activities, I was read the riot act and lectured on why I shouldn't behave that way.
On the hand, I think the reason it seems like there's more bullying going on these days is because the media has made this a new cause-celebre, especially if the victim may be gay. In my day, there was never "film at eleven" when I got bullied, just for being small for my size.