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Sex and Gender Role Correlates of Aggression




Childhood masculine or feminine role behavior and aggressiveness in adult males
Kerrin Christiansen (University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany)
A pilot study was conducted to investigate in 24 young adults the relation between childhood sex role behavior and present self-ratings of aggressiveness, interest in sexual aggression, and sex hormone levels (total and non-SHBG-bound testosterone, estradiol, and dihydrotestosterone).  Significant correlations were found between masculine play preferences and maternal/ paternal encouragement of male sex role behavior or identification during childhood and aggressiveness and interest in sexual aggression. The latter variables were also significantly related to sex hormones.(back to top)

Sex differences in beliefs about aggression: Opponent's sex and the form of aggression
John Archer and Annadelle Haigh  (University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, UK)
Instrumental and expressive beliefs about aggression were examined when the type of aggression (physical or verbal) and the sex of the opponent (same sex or opposite-sex partner) were specified.  Previously reported sex differences in instrumental beliefs were found only in the case of physical aggression towards a same-sex opponent, and then it was largely restricted to those who are answering with a hypothetical event in mind.  Previously reported sex differences in expressive beliefs applied irrespective of sex of the partner or the form of aggression.(back to top)

Women and crime: A feminist evolutionary approach
Anne Campbell (Durham University, Durham, UK)
Steven Muncer (Teesside University, UK)
Despite substantial differences in the absolute rates of male and female crime, we report correlations of .90 and greater between property and violent offending within each sex, and between male and female rates of violent and property offending.  We offer a feminist evolutionary account of this pattern in which we argue that both sexes are affected in the same way by ecological pressures toward offending but that evolutionary forces have raised women's threshold of response as a function of their lower lifetime reproductive rates and their greater parental investment relative to men.(back to top)

Executive cognitive functioning mediates the relation between language competence and antisocial behavior in conduct disordered adolescent females
Peter R. Giancola, Ada C. Mezzich, and Ralph E. Tarter
(Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA)
The main purpose of this study was to determine whether executive cognitive functioning (ECF) mediates the relations between language skills and five different forms of antisocial behavior (ASB) in 320 adolescent females with (n = 223) and without (n = 97) a conduct disorder.  The conduct-disordered group evinced significantly poorer language and ECF abilities compared with the controls.  Moreover, ECF mediated the relations between language skills and the different forms of ASB, even when controlling for chronological age and SES.(back to top)

Moral beliefs supporting aggression related to verbal/physical types of proactive/reactive aggressive behavior among adolescents
Laura Pakaslahti and Liisa Keltikangas-Jarvinen
(University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)
Association of moral beliefs supporting aggression to aggressive behavior among adolescent boys and girls (N = 1679) was investigated. Unintentionality as an excuse was related to verbal and physical proactive and reactive aggression. Victim provocation predicted also these types with an exception of verbal proactive aggression. Aggression as a minor offense was related to physical forms of aggression. Peer pressure and seriouslessness consequences predicted proactive physical aggression. Self-defense was not associated to aggressive behavior. Age and gender differences emerged.(back to top)