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  1. Feb 13, 2010 #1
    Are men more aggressive than women? this was the question........

    maybe this will help
    It is my Opinion that how aggression is measured is the key to the debate.

    A forceful behavior, action, or attitude that is expressed physically, verbally, or symbolically. It may arise from innate drives or occur as a defense mechanism, often resulting from a threatened ego. It is manifested by either constructive or destructive acts directed toward oneself or against others. Kinds of aggression are constructive aggression, destructive aggression, and inward aggression. (Mosby 2009) the problem with aggression is being clear on what aggression is and how to measure it, there are many differing definitions of aggression and opinions on how aggression is measured. Aggression is difficult to define, it is a complex, and depending upon the context the term can carry either positive or negative connotations, This essay, will consider frustration and aggression, the aggressive cues that influence aggressive behavior, and attributions that affect aggression. Followed by biological reasoning’s for aggression. It should then be possible to draw a conclusion to see if any or all of the theories discussed are the cause of aggression. Then the essay will look at and debate whether men are typically more aggressive than women.
    One of the current psychological theories for the causes of aggression is frustration and whether there is a relationship between frustration and aggression, the theory of frustration and aggression is based upon the idea that all aggression is motivated by an individual driven by frustration, frustration being the inability to achieve a goal due to the interjection of a condition. This theory state that’s frustration always leads to aggression and aggression is always a consequence of frustration. The aggressive behavior is not always directed at the cause of the frustration and it can take different forms. If the cause of the frustration is an individual that is socially important or physically stronger, then the aggressive party is likely to vent the frustration induced aggression a weaker member of the society and this can be done physically or verbally directly or indirectly. An example to contradict this argument is one of a paid assassin who would kill his or her victim without even meeting them. This is where a debate will undoubtedly ensue as assassins are not aggressive and the act of killing the individual should be classed as deadly not aggressive. Assassins are trained to be totally calm, cool and calculated they do not display any form of aggression, they are simply doing a job with no emotional attachments.
    Another current theory of aggression is that of the aggressive cue, one of the most prominent examples of an aggressive cue is that of a weapon. The presence of the weapon should intern lead to more extreme aggression than that of the introduction of a neutral connotation. An experiment was carried out using electric shock. Participants were asked to administer electric shocks to a confederate. First with no cues then there was the introduction a shotgun and a revolver, the participants that were already angry increased the number of electric shocks when the weapons were introduced. But the participants that were not already angry did not react to the weapons. This is not a conclusive experiment as there are too many other factors affecting the results such as the participants state of mind before the experiment, also their upbringing and what they learnt about aggressive behavior.
    As aggression is a behavior for an individual to exhibit aggression it must be within their behavioral repertoire. A behavior is something that has to be learnt and learning theory of behavior addresses just that, how does an individual acquire aggressive forms of behavior and what makes it a habitual response. This can be attributed to conditioning, for example is a child want to ride his bike but his sister is riding it, then he could simply use a direct and aggressive approach and take it from her, if this is successful then this act of aggression has been positively reinforced and the child is likely to resort to this aggressive behavior in any similar situations. Aggressive behavior will increase due to the success, however if his sister had pushed him away and rode away on the bike then the child would have thought that his aggressive behavior had not worked, therefore the behavior was nor reinforced resulting in the unlikely repeat of his actions.
    Even if human nature is not aggressive it is still possible that some individuals are genetically or biologically predisposed to aggression one example that can be used is that of a Down syndrome child born with learning difficulties. The focuses behind biological reasoning’s for aggressive behavior are chromosomes XY XXY XYY are the three differing types men have one X chromosome that they get from their mother and one Y chromosome that they get from there farther. Females have Two X chromosome that they get one from each parent. Because of this the Y chromosome is regarded as the male chromosome and the X as the female chromosome. Some men have XYY chromosome set up and reporters named these men super-males. It was hypothesized that these men are generally more aggressive and because of the extra Y chromosome they were more likely to commit violent crimes such as murder and rape. The facts however do not support these claims as 97% of males who have XYY chromosome set up have never committed a crime so therefore must not have been driven by their genetic make up. XYY male in the non-prison environment are less educated that XY males so are more likely to be caught if they do commit crime. Another hypothesis on biological reasons behind aggression is that of the male sex hormone testosterone the study hypothesized that when teenage males reach puberty and their testosterone levels increase they become more violent and aggressive. The study also hypothesized that males with higher testosterone levels are more aggressive and more likely to work within a competitive environment for example acting or sports. High levels of testosterone by them self will not make an individual more aggressive it is the ratio between estrogen and testosterone that is important high testosterone in comparison in comparison the estrogen causes a chemical imbalance leading to aggressive mood swings. This can be evidenced through steroids such as Sustanon, which is a blend of testosterone, which is used to increase strength through sustaining longer periods of exercise. A supplement that is also used with it is anti estrogen. Individual that used anabolic steroids or testosterone often have outbursts of anger commonly known as Roid-rage due to the chemical imbalance in the body. It is argued that adolescent teen are not become more aggressive because of the increase testosterone levels during puberty but because it is the first time they are starting to compete for resources (females to mate with) but is argument is floored as the male sex hormone that instigates theses sexual drives is testosterone. The study on testosterone levels that was carried out in prison is not so conclusive, the raised or high testosterone levels could be a reaction to the environment for example, the levels are raised because they are in prison, not they are in prison because of raised or high testosterone levels. Women tend to hold an expressive social representation of aggression (as a loss of self-control) while men tend to hold an instrumental representation (as a means of imposing control over others) it may be a sex difference in moral acceptability of aggression that informs social representation. Testosterone levels combined with traditional male roles as the dominant sex (ie hunter gatherer) make them the more aggressive sex

    In light of the evidence it would appear that testosterone levels have a direct impact on aggressive behavior so it would be fair to say that at least on this level men are more susceptible to aggressive behavior than Women because of the testosterone levels. However it is still in conclusive as the methods in which aggression are measured are not clear.
    For example is aggression a physical act of anger or vent of frustration or can tactical “bitching” be classed as aggression. Some females may choose to exact revenge or display anger by telling half truth’s and making up inaccurate stories about the person they are angry or frustrated with. Thus causing this person anguish in another way through mind games. There is no evidence to support the fact that women are less aggressive than just that men display more physical aggression than women this could be due to the testosterone levels of a male
  2. jcsd
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