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NCJ Number: 228721 Find in a Library
Title: Interacting Roles of Testosterone and Challenges to Status in Human Male Aggression
Journal: Aggression and Violent Behavior  Volume:14  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2009  Pages:330-335
Author(s): Francis T. McAndrew
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 6
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: A literature review was conducted on sex and cultural differences in physical male aggression, specifically the roles of testosterone (biological) and challenges to status.
Abstract: Reading of the available evidence suggests that the most common chain of events leading to physical aggression by human males begins with a public challenge to a man's status through direct competition with another male, through insult, or by the threat of having one' mate poached by another male. These threats to status provoke a biological response marked by heightened levels of testosterone, which facilitate an aggressive response. The degree to which an aggressive response is called for, or at least permitted, will be determined at least in part by the cultural and societal value placed on a man's reputation and honor and the degree to which aggression is considered an appropriate response. Social scientists have identified many factors that can increase frequency of aggressive behavior in human beings. Attempts made to incorporate factors, such as personality traits and situational (i.e. heat, crowding, or noise), into a theoretical framework have focused on cognitive and emotional states as explanatory mechanisms, but have ignored the role that biological factors might play in human aggression. This paper proposes, through a review of the literature, that the process of natural selection has shaped hormonal responses in males that are sensitive to situations involving challenges to status and/or competition with other males, and that these hormonal changes are essential ingredients of the aggressiveness occurring in these situations. References
Main Term(s): Aggression
Index Term(s): Anger; Biological influences; Dangerousness; Literature reviews; Male offenders; Violence; Violence causes; Violent men
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