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Violence is a global issue that has received a lot of attention during recent years, (Omidi et al, 2014). Throughout time, the violent aggression that mal species had were quite prevalent throughout the animal kingdom and is notable by the analysis of chimpanzees and other male species that display dominance within their respective tribes. Violence is known to be an extreme form of aggression encompassing a range of physical and verbally violent behaviours that negatively impact one’s physical and mental health. Men specifically have a more prominent reputation of upholding the classification for being more violent than women. There is a substantial amount of evidence that supports this claim with numerous studies discussing why this hypothesis is important to understand and conduct more valid research. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), is one of the most common crimes committed in Australia. The most targeted age group for women are usually from 15 to 44, this contributes to a high increase of deaths and illnesses than any other form of avoidable risk factors. (Domestic Violence Prevention Centre 2019).
The theories that intercept this are the parental investment theories and sexual selection theories. It can also be observed that there is a prominent case of male sexual jealousy that is the cause for women to be victims of violence from their male partners. There is substantial evidence supporting the statement that men are more violently aggressive than women, this essay will explain the reasons why and the relationship between other factors, such as the genetic and environmental factors of men being violent as well as the significance of IPV against women, but also deciphering whether men are more violently aggressive than women.
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Researchers have been looking at factors that can distinguish why someone becomes violent. They had found that genes and the environment act together to create violent or aggressive behaviour but doesn’t really determine anything. A study conducted by the University of Barcelona found that there are 40 genes that have a relation to aggressive behaviour, (University of Barcelona, 2018). They share a common genetic base regarding violent behaviour, the 40 genes they identified can lead to a risk of aggressive behaviours. Regarding genetic influence, Fernandez Castillo claimed that “some genes are likely to function as important nodes of the genic networks which are prone to violent behaviour”, (University of Barcelona, 2018). The new study explained how aggression characterizes evolutionary behaviour fostered by stressful events, (Palumbo et al 2018). The study explored the role of epigenetics and how its function contributes to distributing factors on how human aggressive behaviour is formed.
Epigenetics switch on and off determining how proteins are copied within DNA; the concentration within the central nervous system that displays low oxytocin shows what factors to human aggressive behaviour can be represented, (Palumbo et al, 2018); the changes in pathways that can modify brain functions in areas that hold a vital part within cognitive and emotional methods that underly aggression.
Australia has one of the highest cases of known domestic violence in the world. Violence against women in Australia is one of the highest forms of violence in the country. It is shown countless times on the media that men are the perpetrators for most crimes regarding violence. There are thousands of women that develop trauma from their abuse from their partners or former partners, domestic partner violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness for women. In childhood development it has been observed that from the ages of 3, it is common behaviour for male children to begin expressing their feelings through physical aggression by hitting and biting, (Tremblay, 2008). If men show their aggression so much, what about women? Women are also known for expressing their aggression however the engagement is different, women tend to berate and verbally insult their victims that are the same sex due to matters such as physical appearance and they always feel like they must be in competition with one another, (Buss & Dedden, 1990; Campbell, 1993). Women’s aggression is less violent than men, this can be seen by looking at the parental investment and sexual selection differences from both sexes.
A study was conducted to report violence between spouses and triggers husbands to become violent. The results showed that husbands became frustrated by not being able to control situations where infidelity is committed by the woman. It was reported that the husbands were more likely to kill their wives due to suspicion of cheating and when she decides to end the relationship. Usually females will exhibit extreme aggression against men out of defence from being murdered by their partner from accusations and prolonged history of physical abuse where she feels like she is trapped and unable to leave the situation, (Daly & Wilson, 1988; Dobash et al, 1992). There are many limitations that can affect the perspective of evolutionary psychology on aggression. Sex differences in parental investment shows that males can produce more offspring than females due to there being greater variance in reproduction by how ferocious the competition is between the sexes. Studies have shown that men were more likely than women to show physical dominance against their rivals to make them less desirable to the opposite sex. In a homicide sample in Chicago showed “from 1965 – 1980 showed that 86% of crimes were committed by men”, (Buss & Shackelford, 1997). Studies and the media show that men are more often than women to be the killers. The evolutionary model of intrasexual competition gives us a good base when exploring why men are more violently aggressive than women and why men are mostly victims of this aggression. In species where females put far more effort into raising offspring than males, females become more valuable and restricted resource of reproduction. Men are limited by their ability to gain sexual access to females that are valuable by their high investment to offspring. (Buss & Shackelford, 1997).
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There are genetic, environmental and cognitive factors where men are seen to be more violent than women, this has been shown by differences of development as a child where male children are more prone to developing physical aggression to express themselves than females. In order to further understand how one becomes violent, researchers and cognitive psychologists are consistently trying to conduct various studies to determine how control factors contribute to the correlation or implementation of violent behaviour towards others. From the discovery of 40 genes that have a crucial effect in the epigenetic changes in causing aggressive behaviour to environmental factors from others that can influences behaviour such as family to media factors, it can be seen that there is a vast difference due to gender and it has been proven through evolutionary psychology. Gender differences in violence are a real phenomenon which has a mix of different correlational factors such as biological, genetic, environmental and even socio-cultural influences.
Parental investment theory suggested that women were more how women are more nurturing and males usually rely on A crucial task for future research in describing valid environmentally mediated factors that interact with biological factors to increase the risk for individual violent behaviour. Gaining further knowledge into the neurobiological realm of gender differences in violence proves to be important for the development for individual human violence in the future, (Staniloiu & Markowitsch 2012).
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