Searching for the origins of male aggression: Nature, nurture or both?

5-5-2019 lead
Boys fighting during a training session at the Enbo Fight Club in Chengdu. Image: Fred Dufour/AFP

Most men are not especially violent, but most people who are especially violent are men.

Now, there’s no real doubt that social forces help to shape violence and aggression. Decades of research have shown that people’s behavior—aggression included—is responsive to incentives and training. The question, then, is not whether social forces matter, but whether social forces are the whole story. And the answer, in a nutshell, is “almost certainly not.” Biology matters as well. Here’s how we know.

From the moment they can move around under their own their steam, boys engage in more rough-and-tumble play than girls. The same sex difference is found in other juvenile primates, and appears to be related to testosterone exposure in the womb.

Related article:  Why the idea of solving problems with unconscious thought is 'fanciful'

[However,] after the violence and mayhem of early adulthood, male aggression steadily nosedives through the remainder of the lifespan. The socialization hypothesis offers no particular reason to expect this. But the decline in violence coincides almost perfectly with the decline in testosterone found in men throughout the adult years, and mirrors the decline found in males of other species. Once again, this is much easier to explain in evolutionary than in sociocultural terms.

Read full, original post: Nurture Alone Can’t Explain Male Aggression

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend