October 21, 2013
Feminist Perspective of Aggression: Social Role Theory:
Male aggression is tolerated, expected and encouraged in society while female
aggression isn’t. (i.e.: Caregivers can’t be aggressive). Males are providers/must be
aggressive to bring home food. Gender differences are socialized and not innate.
If this theory were correct, gender differences should be small, and would begin after
socialization begins. It would increase with increasing socialization.
Meta- Analytics Findings:
Gender differences run from small (but significant) to very large.
Predictors of Aggressiveness: Physical aggressions, verbal/indirect aggressions
Differences are largest for physical aggression vs. verbal and indirect aggression
Eagly & Steffen (1986):
Women report more anxiety and more concern about doing harm to someone
Anxiety inhibits aggression by making them feel bad/ socialized to feel certain emotions
Men are more biologically prepared to be aggressive due to competition for mates
Competition appears very early and does not increase with socialization to masculine and
feminine roles (between ages 18 and 30).
Division of labour come from differences in reproductive biology (which suggest
division of labour comes from nowhere)
Eagly & wood’s (2002) biosocial model combines both approaches
There are reproductive pressures that resulted in difference gender expectations
Feminist model problem:
Diffusion of labour comes from somewhere The Frustration- Aggression Hypothesis
Modern Approach/ Theory (Miller and Dollard):
If you get frustrated, you will be aggressive (frustration ALWAYS leads to aggression).
Aggression is always because of frustration) Cant override this relationship
Will coexist, but there’s no way to rationally override it. Aggression is an irrational,
automatic response to frustration.
Evidence: Heat and Aggression
Heat is frustration and blocks you goal level
Research support: Lab experiments. Rats will be aggressive when uncomfortable than
when they are not.
o Leads to more shocking in learning shock experiments
o Heat and electric shock punishments
o Riots don’t happen in winter
Experiment: Baseball violence:
Pitchers were hitting batters with the ball. When pitchers hit the batter, they were
Big predictor was heat The higher the temperature, the high the number of batters hit by
Goes up significantly with heat and heat index, maybe because they are sweaty and they
lose control with the ball
Female confederate stops at a red light on a one lane street, Phoenix. Confederate
stalls others and sits there. Green light comes on. If there are cars behind her,
researchers. Her call stalls for 12 seconds. Horn honking used aggressively
1. Gender and person of car behind woman
2. Ages of the people
3. How many passengers in the car; their genders
4. Number of cars behind 5. Windows open vs windows close
The hotter it was, the less time it takes for them to start honking. One very long honk
was made Over 100 F. 1/3 of subjects pressed for more than 6 seconds. Below 90 F,
there were short honks.
Suggests that un-comfortableness leads to frustration
Pain vs. Aggression
Non- human animals will turn on each other if they are hurt. Fight or flight response.
Experiment Berkowitz et al
He brought people into lab. They are asked to place hand in lukewarm water or very
cold ice water which causes pain. They listen to another subject’s solution to a series
of business problems (Confederate). Subject should reward or punish confederate for
DV: mean # of rewards/ punishments given
Both situations have more rewards than punishments. In lukewarm there are less
punishments than in cold. Suggests rational response. Overriding their desire to be
aggressive. Automatic relationship between frustration and aggression. Suggests also
there is rational thought going on Effects of Rational Thought on