Previous research concerning peer aggression has been conducted under the assumption that women rarely display aggression; therefore, aggressive behavior has historically been viewed as a male phenomenon (Björkqvist, 1994). Recently, many researchers have challenged the gender bias in the existence of aggressive behaviors and have broadened the definition of aggression. Björkqvist’s research suggests sex differences exist in the quality of the aggression, but not the quantity. According to Paquette and Underwood (1999), an adolescent’s expression of anger and contempt for peers can sometimes be expressed through physical aggression, manipulation, exclusion, and/or gossip. This broader definition allows for a more complete understanding of the social or relational aggression, which is typically associated with females. Relational aggression is more verbal than physical and very prevalent in today’s society.
Gender differences in the prevalence and the form of aggressive behavior used could be explained by the different social roles of females and males. This paper will discuss the different types of aggression and how each type is used within the female and male peer groups.
Aggression has been defined as having five central features: Intention to harm, unprovoked, happens repeatedly, victim perceives the bully as having power, and occurring in small groups. There are two distinct forms of aggression within this definition, overt (physical) and relational (verbal). Crick and Grotpeter (1995) state that the distinction between overt and relational aggression is related to gender. To be specific, the types of aggressive behaviors displayed within peer groups differ between same-sex groups.
It was previously assumed that girls used strictly relational aggression in contrast to boys who primarily used overt forms of aggression. Research shows that levels of overt aggression are higher in males; however, the levels of relational aggression are equal between both males and females (Björkqvist, Lagerspetz, & Kaukiainen, 1992). This does not mean that females are less aggressive than males. Females and males choose their principal form of aggression in order to maximize the effects of the aggression. The reaction of peers to overt and relational aggression differs due to the general value of the group. To generate the desired ...
... middle of paper ...
...general social roles and reactions to aggression of girls and boys help to determine the usage of overt and relational aggression.
Baron, R. A., Byrne, D., & Johnson, B. T. (1998). Exploring Social Psychology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Berndt, T. J. (1982). The features and effects of friendship in early adolescence. Child Development, 53, 1447-1460.
Björkqvist, K. (1994). Sex differences in physical, verbal, and indirect aggression: A review of recent research. Sex Roles, 30, 177-188.
Björkqvist, K., Lagerspetz, K., & Kaukiainen, A. (1992). Do girls manipulate and boys fight? Developmental trends in regard to direct and indirect aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 18, 117-127.
Crick, N. R., & Grotpeter, J. K. (1996). Children’s treatment by peers: Victims of relational and overt aggression. Development and Psychopathology, 8, 367-380.
Grotpeter, J. K., & Crick, N. R. (1996). Relational aggression, overt aggression, and friendship. Child Development, 67, 2328-2338.
Paquette, J. & Underwood, M. (1999). Gender differences in young adolescents’ experiences of peer victimization: Social and physical aggression. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 45, 242-265.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Middle school is a tumultuous right of passage in any person’s life. It is the bridge between elementary school and high school, and it marked by several major life events. “Youth between the ages of 10 to 15 are characterized by their diversity as they move through the puberty growth cycle at varying times and rates.” Students of this age are sensitive and have a strong need for approval from others; they seek associations, relationships, and links with people, things, and new ideas. Also, during the middle school years, the aggressive behaviors increase for both boys and girls.... [tags: bullying, boys, girls, physical, threatening]
1049 words (3 pages)
- Coexistence between men and women is not impossible or always difficult. However, problems arise when there is an expectation or automatic assumption of what the opposite sex will think or feel about any given situation. Acceptance of each other without trying to change the other to suit our own personal need is by far the simplest way to achieve a harmonious relationship. The challenge we face today is in accepting and recognizing the differences between men and women; and when possible find the humor in those differences.... [tags: Gender]
1699 words (4.9 pages)
- Even though men and women both the same language, they speak it very differently. “Language is the means by which we transmit our ideas, feelings, and needs” (Lopez-Rocha 195). The different forms of English they speak can cause communication problems between them. It is a common saying that half of American marriages end in divorce. “Communication problems was cited as the most common factor that leads to divorce (65 percent)” (Poor). Sometimes it is not an actual lack of communication but rather a perceived one.... [tags: sex and gender differences in communication]
1352 words (3.9 pages)
- The Identifying Factors in the Development of Aggression and Violence in Youth Today Tragic events like the shootings at Columbine High School capture public attention and concern, but are not typical of youth violence. Most adolescent homicides are committed in inner cities and outside of school. They most frequently involve an interpersonal dispute and a single victim. On average, six or seven youths are murdered in this country each day. Most of these are inner-city minority youths. Such acts of violence are tragic and contribute to a climate of fear in schools and communities.... [tags: Aggression Violence Crime Teenagers Essays]
3979 words (11.4 pages)
- Gender Differences and Gender Stereotypes from a Psychological Perspective Gender Differences and Gender Stereotypes Gender differences and gender stereotypes are fascinating in that one must sift through the theories, assumptions and inevitable confusion to distinguish the reality from the assumption. Men and women are obviously different, especially inherently, but how. And why. And which differences are more individualized than generalized. Even more interesting is to observe how the differences between men and women have evolved, especially over the past 30 years- since the sexual revolution.... [tags: essays papers]
1082 words (3.1 pages)
- Introduction In understanding moral and ethical development of individuals, we have been exposed to a vast amount of information enlightening us of the complex ways in which both males and females cognitively develop their moral and ethical values. Through this we have learned about the many gender differences in these values, which has raised the question of why males and females branch apart in this development, when the separation occurs, and if it is a result biological differences, or socialization.... [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]
5920 words (16.9 pages)
- In order to answer the question above this essay will discuss in depth what exactly sex is and what gender is and the differences between the two terms. The research carried out will display that we live in a patriarchal society without a doubt as we look at how gender links to inequality in society. A patriarchal society can be clearly seen from the gender inequality in the labour force which is paid labour and also in unpaid labour which occurs in the household. Another area the answer will reflect on is how gender inequality links to education which overall links to society.... [tags: Gender Studies]
1769 words (5.1 pages)
- Gender and Relationships The history of courtship and dating has evolved over the years and there are major gender differences that impact personal relationships dealing with males and females. Focusing on romantic relationships, we will look into Stewart's and Arliss's distinctive theories on views, expectations, and desires of being in a commitment with an individual. Some believe the longer the courtship, the better chance of being in a real relationship, possibly the rest of your life with this person.... [tags: Gender Studies]
925 words (2.6 pages)
- Gender-role development is one of the most important areas of human development. The moment a women finds out she is pregnant she is often anxious to find out the sex of her child. The definitions of the terms "sex" and "gender" need to be understood. The term "sex" denotes the actual physical makeup of individuals that define them as male or female. Sex is determined by genetic makeup, internal reproductive organs, the organization of the brain, and external genitalia. The behavior of individuals as males or females, the types of roles they assume, and their personality characteristics, may be just as important as a person's biological framework.... [tags: Gender Roles, Same Sex]
1764 words (5 pages)
- Relational Aggression A high school student cried as she recounted being tormented in middle school by her classmates. For some reason she was targeted as a “dog,” and day after day she had to walk the halls with kids barking at her. How did it stop. The girl said she stopped it. But how. She picked out another girl, someone worse off than herself, and started to call her dog. Then the others forgot about her. Then they barked at the other girl instead. Girls may be made of sugar and spice and everything nice, but on the inside, they are just plain mean.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
896 words (2.6 pages)