Gender differences in attitudes towards aggression

Haigh, Anadelle Marie (1996) Gender differences in attitudes towards aggression. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The aim of this research was to further examine the differences apparent between the attitudes and beliefs held by men and women about aggression, and to investigate the importance of these views to people when predicting their own
levels of aggression.
Two studies were undertaken in the course of this research. The first of these aimed to examine the impact of the type of aggression, whether verbal or physical, on the beliefs held by men and women about aggression; and to investigate the effect of gender and relationship of target on these views. The second study intended to examine the generality of the findings shown in Archer and Haigh (1996)1 amongst a sample of male and female prisoners, and to further assess the hypothesis that high instrumental (and low expressive) scores, would predict high levels of self reported aggression, particularly physical aggression.
Both studies relied on self-report data gathered via different versions of the modified Expagg scale (Campbell, Muncer and Coyle, 19922; Archer and 1-laigli, 1996), while the second study also employed the Aggression Questionnaire as
devised by Buss and Perry in 1992.
Findings of the first study supported claims that men and women possess both differing views about aggression and different preferred modes of its expression (Campbell et al, 19922; Harris, 199226) . Examination of the situational variations apparent in this study, indicate that these gender differences in aggression are not static, but that men and women's views and responses are modified according to type of aggression concerned, situation and other social factors, as previously suggested by Deaux and Major (1987)32, and by Mary Harris ( 1996 1 ). Findings of the second study indicated that gender,
age and offence type could all be found to exert a noticeable effect on the individual differences apparent with regard to self-reports of attitudes towards, and engagement in, aggression, but that the extent of the influences exerted on aggression by these factors appeared to vary with the form of aggression being considered.

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