Aggression has been generally defined by experts and researchers as “behavior that is intended to hurt or harm others” (Crick and Grotpeter 710). New studies on gender and aggression through a broad set of academic disciplines has revealed some peculiarities in the overall causations and occurrences of aggression throughout society. These studies have come a long way since their first premiere in the early 1920s. For instance, boys were originally expected to be dramatically more aggressive than girls. These studies mainly focused on overt forms of aggression, which could be easily observed, such as punching, kicking, and biting. In most up-to-date research, however, it appears that girls are almost just as aggressive, in a different manner, however, known as relational aggression, a form of covert aggression, in which the aggressor causes harm to the victim through damaging their relationships or social status. Many early studies failed to acknowledge this because of the subtlety and covertness inherent in relational aggression. Furthermore, aggression has been correlated to many other issues such as depression, crime, and domestic violence. The possible causations of differences in aggression have been linked primarily to societal norms and evolution. So how exactly does gender affect aggression and what is the cause?
In an early study by Crick and Grotpeter in the discipline of child development, entitled “Relational Aggression, Gender, and Social-Psychological Adjustment”, researchers first began to observe and document aggression in all forms regardless of the shibboleth created by earlier psychological studies. The researchers in the above study based their research o...
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...o what was previously believed less than a decade ago. Overall, in relation to overt aggression more research and valid methods are needed to establish a general consensus within many disciplines.
In conclusion, the ever evolving fields of science have given us a new perspective of gender as it pertains to aggression. The previously established shibboleth that pinned aggression as primarily a male trait have become obsolete in the light of a broader scope of research. The fact remains that according to the most recent research men are primarily physically aggressive whereas women are relationally aggressive in their pursuit of social gain. Minute biological differences between the genders seem to be the most promising indicator of the cause. However, there is much more research needed to fully validate the influence of gender norms and or biological factors.
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