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Aggression in men

  1. Sep 26, 2016 #1
    I have always been into full contact aggressive sports...too old now tho. I use dogs to hunt prey and have a full bite trained on human targets dog I hire out for property and human protection. I enjoy the training and the work, so does the dog.

    Is aggression just part of what we are, can we ever evolve past it?

    I heard of societies that have no vocabulary for war and have no evidence of being in a war or fighting. They were utilised in WWII I think and were taught aggression to good effect - after the war they went back to zero aggression.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2016 #2


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    Do you have a source for this?
  4. Sep 26, 2016 #3
    Will search it, they were remote subsistence villagers.
  5. Sep 26, 2016 #4


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    Women can be quite something, too. For example, mine went after me with a broom earlier this evening, no joking.
  6. Sep 26, 2016 #5
  7. Sep 26, 2016 #6
    Well female dogs generally fight to kill, male dogs rarely do or want to.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2016
  8. Sep 26, 2016 #7


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    Please post the source for this.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  9. Sep 26, 2016 #8
    I train working dogs, it is experience. Don't know any formal studies, obviously would be grossly unethical to do controlled test I hope that's obvious.

    Ask anyone who is experienced with high powered dogs.
  10. Sep 26, 2016 #9
  11. Sep 26, 2016 #10


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    Hmm, why am I not surprised? :-p
  12. Sep 26, 2016 #11
    WOOT - just got a board trophy for 75 likes.....and the 75'th like was on a post proving how dangerous and aggressive females are.
  13. Sep 26, 2016 #12
    Agression in men, especially young men, is probably the root of all humanities problems.

    I have no source for that. It is an editorial comment.
  14. Sep 26, 2016 #13

    Fervent Freyja

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    Aggression is a behavior, a response to an internal or external stimulus. It is common throughout the animal kingdom and likely to remain a natural survival response to perceived threats. I don't believe that humans could totally evolve past resorting to aggressive behaviors. Children, people with disability, or people going through a crisis or threatening situation will likely always respond to some situations aggressively. Children often use this as a coping mechanism in their first few years, they don't have the knowledge or experience to respond any differently. It is known to be a part of normal growth and development, as long as they can learn other coping skills to replace the aggressive episodes. We know that many people do begin behaving more aggressively when their cognitive function declines late in life.

    Many people probably go very long periods without episodes of aggressive behavior towards others. While many may occasionally become aggressive. However, choosing to consistently participate in situations that evoke aggression like sports isn't entirely the same thing, there is obviously a feedback cycle that benefits everyone in that situation, eventually (it is more controlled). Having fun being aggressive is more a choice than a person responding to a potentially threatening situation. Humans still need those cognitive detours in order to survive. A huge problem humans face is in judging threats or making assumptions that lead to a preventable act of aggression. The flip side of that is not responding to a threat could get you killed. From a survival standpoint, aggression or going on the offense first makes sense.

    Men and women shouldn't be placed upon the same scale against each another. That's unfair to use war as an example. Both genders deal with difference sets of physiological factors and conditioning that affects the rates and types of aggressive behavior.

    A person that enjoys hurting animals or people are called sadists. They deviate from the norm in all societies.
  15. Sep 26, 2016 #14

    Fervent Freyja

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    That is an unfair assessment. Up until this last century or so, nearly all human progress and advancements in knowledge had been made by males. We have no models of the what the outcome would be if that had been contributed solely by females, or equally by both. Possibly, the damage done by males is compensated for with those contributions. Of course, there would be no humans at all without females sticking by their young, females have been essential for survival more so than progress. Both have value.

    We could also say: Drive in men, especially young men, has probably been the root of all humanities progress.
  16. Sep 26, 2016 #15
    Various definitions:
    • angry or violent behavior or feelings

    • : hostile action against another country, government, etc.

      1. : a forceful action or procedure (as an unprovoked attack) especially when intended to dominate or master

      2. 2: the practice of making attacks or encroachments; especially : unprovoked violation by one country of the territorial integrity of another

      3. 3: hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior or outlook especially when caused by frustration

        the action of a state in violating by force the rights of another state,particularly its territorial rights; an unprovoked offensive, attack,invasion, or the like:
        The army is prepared to stop any foreign aggression.
        any offensive action, attack, or procedure; an inroad or encroachment:
        an aggression upon one's rights.
        the practice of making assaults or attacks; offensive action in general.
        Psychiatry. overt or suppressed hostility, either innate or resulting fromcontinued frustration and directed outward or against oneself.
  17. Sep 26, 2016 #16
    the most extreme act of aggression is all out nuclear war - arguably nuclear war eliminated itself from happening, at least in the cold war era, only due to US/USSR knowing they were both equally defenceless against each other and that both would lose.
  18. Sep 27, 2016 #17


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    Firstly it seems like the definition of aggressiveness is too broad to be useful, houlahound perhaps you could clarify what you're asking. Contact sports don't require aggressive behaviour whether they be verbal insults or violence (outside of the rules of the game). Shock horror but it's actually perfectly easy to have a friendly game of rugby, boxing, karate etc.

    Secondly there is an ongoing argument over whether or not humanity is, as a whole, becoming more peaceful. The metrics in those discussions being rates of violent crimes at the individual level and armed conflict at a state level. See The Better Angels of our Nature for more. So it's possible that aggression is declining worldwide in the most simple sense.

    Last point but anecdotally I've definitely noted a decreased acceptance to aggression over time. You can see this alot with older TV and film which often include casual aggression and violence (particularly against women, children and minorities) that would not be acceptable today. Less anecdotally since the 1800s violence towards women by husbands has been increasingly legislated against (it wasn't until 1878 in the UK that domestic violence could be a legitimate reason for divorce).
  19. Sep 27, 2016 #18


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    Yes that's one theory, though coupled risk taking and agression was probably necessary to get the species out of the caves and across a couple of ice ages and oceans. The alternative is to become the Eloi, and some other species later catalogs your fossils. These days in the West, if there must be a root, I'm going with the PajamaBoy male archetype as being the root of humanities problems.
  20. Sep 27, 2016 #19


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    :rolleyes: Quincy Wright, CoWPat UoC, Leviathan, ... , it's dubious.:wink:
  21. Sep 27, 2016 #20
    OK, then. Thank you, Alex and the Droogs, for bringing us civilization!

  22. Sep 27, 2016 #21
    might be an offset to this; the aggressive risk takers although adventurous pioneers no doubt are more likely to be taken out of the gene pool by the very fact they are exposed to the highest risk.

    the lesser being, either the weak and or sickly are left back in the cave to breed.

    this would not be that different in battle where the most athletic and most intelligent are tasked with the most risky, sophisticated and complex missions in the direct line of fire, in fact suicide missions.

    the lesser guy is way behind his own lines driving a fork-lift relatively out of harms way....gifted with a higher survival probability in the conflict.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  23. Sep 27, 2016 #22


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    That's not really how evolution works. The weak and sickly already have a lower chance to pass on their genes because of the fact that they are weak and sickly. Then there's the fact that aggression is almost certainly correlated with a great number of other factors, including those which relate to sexual selection. I'm nearly certain I've read that it's possible that aggression, as long as it isn't too great, is positively selected for thanks to sexual selection and other social issues. Unfortunately I don't have a reference for that...

    Warfare is not like this. Soldiers are, on the whole, not separated based on athleticism and intelligence.

    This is not how the military works.
  24. Sep 27, 2016 #23
    not sure how you can realistically dispute the fact that the most intelligent and athletic guys do not get the riskiest and most complex missions - that contradicts the composition and recruitment of all elite units the world over.

    why on earth do you think the military is so big on testing, specialised testing and more testing???
  25. Sep 28, 2016 #24
    Wars aren't won by special forces. They're won by accident, superior numbers, or, when human qualities actually play a part in a victory, by superior strategy (in which I would include superior weaponry). A cave man doesn't kill a bear by being more aggressive than the bear. He kills it by being smart enough to make a spear. Eskimos don't eat by agression. They cultivate the extreme patience to wait by a small hole in the ice for hours until a seal comes up for air. Civilization arose because we learned to put our aggression aside and think things out.
  26. Sep 28, 2016 #25
    good points.
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