7. Same sex aggression- female aggression Flashcards Preview

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do females commit violent acts?


In the United States, girls account for 33% of arrests for simple assault and 24% of aggravated assaults (Girls Study Group. 2008)
Surveys indicate that in the previous year, 40.5% of boys and 25.1% of girls had been in a physical fight. In the previous month, 60% of girls had called another girl names, 50% had sworn at them and 35% had pushed or shoved them [Artz at al., 2008].


what is a comparison between male and female aggression?

Like boys girls are most likely to engage in same sex aggression.


where is female aggression more prevalent?

Female aggression is more prevalent in disorganized neighbourhoods with high levels of poverty and low social cohesion (Ness, 2004)


in neighbourhoods where female aggression is seen what is thought about femininity?

The strength and resilience of women (both mothers and daughters) is not seen as incongruent with femininity: indeed passivity is viewed as a weakness rather than an asset. As Irwin & Adler [2012] noted, ‘Given the emphasis on female strength, girls lost respect for and even targeted other girls who fell short in fulfilling idealized notions of feminine resilience circulating in the local communities’


what is a key cause of female aggression?

Romantic rivalry is one cause. Girls understand their own value in terms of the quality of boys they can attract: ‘Say one guy is good looking, we’re all in a fight over who’s getting who ... If all the girls are fighting for this one really popular guy and one girl gets him, everyone will think she’s more popular too’ (Atrz, 2005)
. Once a boyfriend is secured, the relationship must be protected from takeover by other girls: jealousy is another major cause of female fights. When a girl spends too much time with another girl’s boyfriend, the anger is firmly targeted at the female interloper rather than at the male partner (Artz, 2005)
Commentators have noted that jealousy-motivated fights may not be entirely about the boy but about the kudos that a relationship with a high-status boy can bring [Artz, 2005]


what is perhaps the strongest evidence that boys lie at the heart of female competition?

is the terms used to insult others. The same epithets appear frequently in accounts of girls’ fights: ‘slag’, ‘slut’, ‘whore (ho)’ and ‘tart’. The second most common insults are about a girls’ appearance (‘ugly’, ‘fat’). (Artz, 2005)

They argue that girls come to view themselves through the ‘male gaze’, evaluating their worth in terms of boys’ approval and respect. But this obscures a more fundamental issue: why is male approval so important to teenage girls? Why are terms that impugn their sexual reputation so effective at triggering fights? An evolutionary approach goes beyond chastizing girls for their ‘false consciousness’.


why is it wrong to suggest that from an evolutionary perspective human males should be more violent than females?

Male aggression (and the paucity of female aggression) has been explained in terms of the greater male variance in reproductive success contingent on polygyny [Daly M, Wilson M. 1988, homicide)

developments in evolutionary biology have queried the simplicity of the traditional view of sexual selection which highlights intense male (but not female) competition for mates (Eastwick PW. 2009)
Rates of female competition are higher in species (like our own) with biparental care and diminished sexual dimorphism. (Campbell, 2013)


how is humans long history of bi-parental care mirrored?

The long history of human biparental care is mirrored in the fact that the vast majority of the world’s population live monogamously, despite the large number of societies that permit polygyny.


how have consequences of bi-parental care been underrated for women?

The consequences of monogamy for women have been underappreciated. When a man commits himself to a single woman, his criteria for mate choice shift dramatically upwards. Monogamy entails two-way sexual selection:


male and female mate choice differences

While men and women share a preference for mates who are intelligent and kind, there are some traits that assume a higher priority for one sex than the other [Buss 1989]. Women value resources, ambition and generosity which reflect their need for material and emotional support in raising children. Men value youth, attractiveness and fidelity which reflect preference for high reproductive value and the avoidance of cuckoldry.


based on male and female differences in what is deemed attractive what will females advertising to males look like?

When women compete for well-resourced men, their intersexual competition will entail advertising those qualities that men value and their intrasexual competition will entail discrediting such traits in their rivals. When viewed from this perspective, girls’ preoccupation with enhancing their appearance and defending their sexual reputation becomes more comprehensible, as does the provocative power of accusations of sexual availability and ugliness.


what factors can moderate female aggression?

Campbell 2013 suggests three things

1) Age
2) Sex ratio
3) Variance in male resources


talk about age and female aggression?

For both sexes, the teenage years signal entry into the mating arena and a concomitant increase in aggression that is visible in criminal statistics. In line with girls’ earlier sexual maturity, their offending peak occurs 2 years earlier than boys, and menarche is aligned with aggression (Campbell, 1995)


talk about sex ratio and female aggression

At the age of 25, men are three times more likely to die from all causes than women and this rises to a four times greater mortality rate for deaths from external causes. This effect is conditioned by social class and educational achievement so that in povertylevel neighbourhoods, the sex ratio imbalance is especially marked. In addition to mortality, imprisonment also removes a substantial portion of men from the mate pool (Campbell, 2013)


talk about variance in male resources and female aggression in lower class communities

Huge variance in lower class communities- those who are ambitious often move away, those with jobs are rare so often get divide between those with no job and those engaging in criminal activity.  more to fight for in terms of less viable men
Young women in these neighbourhoods compete for access to men who can supply lavish (if short-lived) resources

Taylor, 1993- ‘Dope guys is straight if they think you ain’t dissing them ... I date whoever is treating your girl the right way. Me, if a guy got some paper well, it’s okay with me. I like fellas that’s rolling, least they making it’


talk about name calling and sexual promiscuity in women

Because sex is a resource that men want and women can supply, women gain by maintaining a high ‘market price’ for sex. By making sex contingent on commitment, women encourage men to pursue a more monogamous strategy. Women who dispense sex too cheaply reduce the bargaining power of other women. In underclass neighbourhoods, the intense competition and the paucity of men who are willing to commit increases the temptation to offer sex at a low level of male investment. The term ‘whore’ is used not only to tarnish a rival in men’s eyes but also to mark her out as someone who has selfishly sold other women out.


what should we not forget about about female aggression compared to male

Close description of the ecological setting, culture and dynamics of young women’s fighting is illuminating, but it should not distract us from the fact that, everywhere and at every historical period, physical aggression between women is less frequent and less severe than between young men
Males commit much more violent acts than females


male and female aggression differences in primate species

In other primate species also, aggression between males is more injurious than between females [Smuts, 1987)


why very generally are females less violent

more to lose from violence cant be afforded in terms of childcare


what is disproportionately borne by females?

• for both sexes, RS is measured in the number of offspring who survive to adulthood and who themselves reproduce
• Given that maternal investment exceeds paternal investment, this burden is disproportionately borne by females.


what do mothers do following gestation

• Following gestation, mothers expend calories in lactation and in feeding young children who must also be monitored and defended from natural accidents and attack by conspecifics.


why is in surprising a bit in childcare that mothers don't display violence?

• The advantages that high rank could confer in accomplishing these tasks make it all the more surprising that females do not engage in dominance contests to the same extent as males. In many species, dominant females have priority of access to food, supplant others from feeding sites and are less subjected to predation. They can suppress reproduction in subordinates, have shorter interbirth intervals and produce more surviving offspring [Stockley et al., 2011].
• The advantages of dominance combined with the reluctance of females to risk aggression in its pursuit suggest that there must be associated costs.


so why aren't women violet in terms of risk

• Aggression involves the possibility of injury and death and their consequences on reproductive success are not equal for men and women. For women, with their limited variance in fecundity, child survival plays a critical role in their ultimate reproductive success.


evidence for risk of mother death

• Pavard et al. [2005] conducted a careful study of births in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Quebec. They excluded cases in which the baby died immediately following birth (to exclude obstetric complications and cross-infection) and corrected for between-family heterogeneity (intrinsic family mortality levels). A mother’s death during the neonatal period increased the odds of her child dying in the postnatal period (28– 299 days) by 5.52. Although the effect was less extreme at later ages, the death of a mother in early childhood (3 –5 years) increased the odds of her child dying in the same period by approx. 2.5 and by approx. 1.5 if her death occurred during late childhood (5 –15 years).


study on effect of maternal versus paternal death

• A contrast with the effect of paternal death is instructive. In every study in which there was a direct comparison of the effect of maternal and paternal deaths, the loss of a father had substantially less impact [Sear and Mace, 2008]. Indeed in 15 out of 22 (68%) studies, the presence of a father had no impact at all on child survival.


what may mediate a lack of aggression in females?

• A woman’s reproductive success may have depended on the avoidance of risky behaviours, including aggression


what can aggression be conceived as a trade off between?

• Aggression can be conceived of as a trade-off between anger (approach) and fear (avoidance) which suggests that alterations in the intensity of these fundamental affective responses may underlie willingness to aggress.


evidence that it is not women being less angry

• The possibility that women’s lower level of anger might explain their greater desistance is not supported by research. Meta-analyses indicate no sex difference in anger either in adults [37] or in children (Hyde et al., 2006].


evidence that women are more risk averse

• Yet, there is ample evidence that women are more risk averse than men [Byrnes et al., 1999)
• Women and girls show more corrugator muscle and electrodermal activity than men when viewing negative images and a stronger startle response to a noise blast delivered during exposure to fear-inducing pictures [Bradley et al., 1999)
• Cross culturally women are more prone to phobic fears and anxiety (McLean and Anderson, 2009)


what to talk about in terms of fear in women

generally more anxious and then
neuropsychology of fear (amygdala)