No Excuse for Agression

Aggressiveness is a human condition, and is in everyone. - photograph by komposita via pexels - CC0 license

BY NICOLE LAPLANT

Although some people may believe that males are born to be aggressive and females to be peaceful, aggressiveness is a human condition, and is in everyone. Aggression is dependent upon the person, how they were raised, and what the situation is.

Some base their belief that males are more agressive than females based on scientific studies.  For example, David J. Anderson, a California Institute of Technology neuroscientist says “males are more aggressive than females” according to new research. New York Times writer James Gorman’s explanation of the discovery made by team leader Anderson found that when the brains of female and male flies were compared, “a few neurons, [were] present only in the male, that produced tachykinin.” It was concluded that tachykinin causes aggression in the male fruit flies. Substance P, an equivalent to tachykinin found only in human males, is believed to be what makes males supposedly more aggressive than females.

Even with these scientific studies, however, natural human behavior has shown that not all males are aggressive, while females can be aggressive. In Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Jack is a classic aggressive male, while many of the other boys are peaceful. Ralph, for example, isn’t aggressive. When Jack steals the conch after he becomes frustrated with Ralph over how to run the island, he yells at the boys, and tries to dethrone Ralph. Ralph does not tackle him or try to aggressively stop him. Instead, Golding wrote that “Ralph watches him” as he runs into the forest enraged. If Ralph was showing true aggressive behavior, he would have run after Jack, tackled him, and gotten into a fight, yelling and screaming at him.

In addition, cyberbullying has become a prominent aggressive issue today for both genders. In Ian Urbina’s New York Times article Mobs Are Born as Word Grows by Text Message it’s stated that these mobs are planned over social media, resulting in teenagers pausing to fight each other, “assault pedestrians or vandalize property.” Urbina also stated that these mobs have resulted in the “arrests of an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl.”  The aggression capable of vandalism and brawls is not specific to males; clearly females can exhibit this type of behavior as well.

Aggression is part of the human condition. Both men and women can become aggressive in certain situations, and depending on the situation, can be equally calm, or equally aggressive. Believing that aggression is gender based is just giving males and excuse to be mean and cruel to the people around them. People need to start holding males and females alike accountable for their aggressive actions, not letting them off the hook just because they might have a gene in their brains that seemingly makes them more susceptible to aggressive behavior.