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Gender and Aggression

  • By: Kathryn B. Anderson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

Consistent with popular wisdom, research has shown that men are more aggressive than are women; however, the size of this effect depends on several situational and perceptual factors. Men tend to engage in direct aggression, in which the target receives the harm, typically resulting in pain or physical injury for the target. For example, 95% of juvenile homicides are committed by young men. Men are more likely than are women to carry and use weapons, especially in conflicts with other men. Women are more likely to engage in indirect or relational aggression, in which the target receives psychological harm such as social exclusion and ostracism. The sex difference in physical aggression is larger in children than adults, perhaps because men learn to regulate aggressive responses ...

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