Why Are Males More Aggressive Than Females?
All societies behave in a different way towards two sexes and distinguish two genders. Through innumerable indications, we are taught that men and women are different. In everyday life, it is commonly assumed that men are more aggressive than women. Statistics indicate that males are more likely than females to commit such crimes as murder, armed robbery, and aggravated assault which are the result of feeling aggressive. In addition men describe themselves as being aggressive to a greater extent than do women and show greater potential for acting aggressively. All of these assumptions lead us to a certain question: Why are human males more aggressive than females? Actually, there are two significant factors which determine this distinctiveness, these are, biological and environmental factors. Both of them are strong evidences. However, the question is which of them has more influence on aggression that the other one. Research in the past on aggression was performed under the hypothesis was that women rarely display aggression; therefore, aggressive behavior was viewed as a male phenomenon. Recent research has challenged the gender bias in the existence of aggressive behaviors and has broadened the definition of aggression. According to this definition, aggression is any behavior that is intended to inflict harm (physical and /or psychological) on another human (Geen, 11). As we see, in this definition, aggression is applied to all humans without separating women from men. There are several explanations for aggressive behaviors of males and females. Biologists argue that testosterone, the male androgen, is the key factor of aggression in males. Some psychologists blame the ways parents behave towards their children in a double standard about the acceptability of aggression. Other theorists identify male and female adult roles: the tendency for men's participation in competitive sports, the military, and the cut- throat world of business actually encourage the use of aggression in males. In contrast, women's traditional roles as homemakers or as lower-status employees systematically deter the expression of aggression. These theories may explain why women are less aggressive than men. Many studies have investigated possible links between different degrees of aggression in men and women and biological factors. The studies have indicated that, across cultures, males are generally more assertive, less inhibited in expressing anger and more likely to use physical aggression than females. (Archer, 233) Genetic and hormonal factors have been suggested as possible causes of this difference in aggressive behavior between the two sexes. Males, for example normally possess one Y chromosome and one X chromosome in contrast to the two X chromosomes of women, and they have higher plasma levels of the sex hormone testosterone. (Archer, 240) High levels of testosterone are associated with increased aggression, but the relationship is complex, since testosterone levels interact with the environment. Testosterone increases aggression only under conditions of competition, and positive associations between testosterone and aggression are affected by other people in the individuals' environment. However, these are difficult to interpret because there are also effects of aggressive behavior on hormones. Robert Trivers, an influential evolutionary biologist during the 1970's, suggested that males and females have evolved different degrees of aggression. According to Triver's theory, female mammals are more invested in the reproductive process than male mammals because female mammals must contribute a relatively large egg, milk and blood to create offspring. Males, however, donate a relatively small amount of seamen. Since females must sacrifice more to produce, they are more likely to favor producing a smaller quantity of high quality offspring. In contrast, males have relatively little invested in each...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document