Why are men more violent

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thrifty++
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Why are men more violent

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:09 am

Why are men more violent than women ? A quick scan on google shows bucket loads of statistics to support this. So the question is why?

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bryan
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by bryan » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:36 am

One big reason is that males evolved to be more effective at violence than women. Chicken and the egg I guess.. related: https://www.quora.com/Why-are-men-taller-than-women

IlliniDave
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:28 am

Seems inherent to most larger mammals where males are wired/adapted to fight with each other over control of resources and/or reproductive privileges. Civilization hasn't bred that out of us completely, and maybe never will. Unfortunately in humans in a modern context this trait can manifest itself in really ugly ways.

James_0011
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by James_0011 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:50 am

Hormones

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BRUTE
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by BRUTE » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:00 am

because they can

scriptbunny
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by scriptbunny » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:01 am

Androgens and societal expectations.

EMJ
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by EMJ » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:51 am

Seems inherent to most larger mammals where males are wired/adapted to fight with each other over control of resources and/or reproductive privileges.
Except that's not how it always works. From wikipedia on Dominance hierarchy:

As expected, the individual who emerges triumphant is rewarded with the dominant status, having demonstrated his/her physical superiority. However, the costs incurred to the defeated, which include loss of reproductive opportunities and quality food, can hinder the individual’s fitness. In order to minimize these losses, animals generally retreat from fighting or displaying fighting ability unless there are obvious cues indicating victory. These often involve characteristics that provide an advantage during agonistic behavior, such as size of body, displays, etc.
...
Engaging in agonistic behavior can be very costly and thus there are many examples in nature of animals who achieve dominance in more passive ways.

rfgh
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by rfgh » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:39 pm

EMJ, is that not the path female homo sapiens have employed to become the *actual* dominant party in familial groups?

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Dragline
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by Dragline » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:54 pm

All of the above. And seems to be a common trait among many mammals, so its the evolutionary model is probably the best fit.

A more interesting question might be "why aren't men even more violent?" EMJ gets at that. In fact, men are probably "too violent" for the kind of modern industrial or post-industrial society we live in, and were better suited to hunter-gatherer, pastoral or agrarian societies. Violence makes more sense in less ordered worlds where life is usually short anyway.

This is why the Bill Gates's and Mark Zuckerbergs of the world are taking over. A tendency towards violence has now become a poor evolutionary strategy in the modern world, unless you are simply harnessing and directing the violence of others.

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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:05 pm

scriptbunny wrote:Androgens and societal expectations.
Interesting. I started having a bit of a look into the relationship between testosterone and violence/aggressiveness. There seems to be a link although god wikipedia is saying that is not the only factor. But also it seems that gay males are generally less violent despite having the same levels of testosterone. So how would that work?
EMJ wrote:As expected, the individual who emerges triumphant is rewarded with the dominant status, having demonstrated his/her physical superiority. However, the costs incurred to the defeated, which include loss of reproductive opportunities and quality food, can hinder the individual’s fitness. In order to minimize these losses, animals generally retreat from fighting or displaying fighting ability unless there are obvious cues indicating victory. These often involve characteristics that provide an advantage during agonistic behavior, such as size of body, displays, etc.
...
Engaging in agonistic behavior can be very costly and thus there are many examples in nature of animals who achieve dominance in more passive ways.
It seems violence was probably more useful to people as a means of establishing dominance when we were pre-communication times. More successful ways of establishing dominance in modern society seems to be through establishing financial capital or social capital. I have noticed that people with heavy social capital seem to establish dominance through having substantial numbers of strong relationships which they have developed through supporting others. They seem t have dominance without the need to exert any kind of threat whatsoever.

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fiby41
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by fiby41 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:49 pm

No they aren't. Domestic abuse of men justs gets underreported, or the perpetrater is usually assumed to be the man and the victim as the woman in a physical squabble.

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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by Felipe » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:57 am

+1 fiby41
In my own experience women are often more violent-they just get off the hook easier. My friend saw a woman and man fighting went over to defend the girl and realized she was the one assaulting him, he just walked away. I've been lucky to have relatively relaxed girlfriends but being the youngest in a family of mostly women, I personally experienced how much more violent women behave than men. Dad was the least violent in the family by far.

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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by EMJ » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:36 am

Domestic abuse of men justs gets underreported
fiby41 - This is a radical claim. Can you back it up?

scriptbunny
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by scriptbunny » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:30 am

thrifty++ wrote: So how would that work?
Societal expectations. From a very young age, many boys in our culture are told that "real men" like trucks and explosions and aggressive displays of dominance. They are also taught to suppress their emotions and that crying or talking about your feelings is effeminate or "gay" and that instead they should "man up" and be a stoic or something. I'd guess that gay men in breaking away from society's image of a "real man" become less encumbered by the toxic stereotype of machismo overall. I'd also guess that on average openly gay men in the process of coming out actively develop a support network of friends to help them in emotionally turbulent times , thereby allowing for better coping and diminishing the likelihood of aggression.
fiby41 wrote: Domestic abuse of men justs gets underreported, or the perpetrater is usually assumed to be the man and the victim as the woman in a physical squabble.
I'm not sure to what degree level of domestic violence is equal or more often perpetrated by women, though I definitely agree that male victims of domestic abuse are often ignored, incredibly stigmatized, and underreport.

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Dragline
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by Dragline » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:52 am

EMJ wrote:
Domestic abuse of men justs gets underreported
fiby41 - This is a radical claim. Can you back it up?
Moreover, whether domestic abuse of men is underreported is a different question from the OP. Most male violence is directed against other men. There is a reason the population of jails and prisons is largely young and male.

This data is older, but still typical (men committing 85% of murders in US): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1635092

" . . . [W]e analyzed Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports data on homicides that occurred in the United States between 1976 and 1987. Only cases that involved victims aged 15 years or older were included. Persons killed during law enforcement activity and cases in which the victim's gender was not recorded were excluded. A total of 215,273 homicides were studied, 77% of which involved male victims and 23% female victims. Although the overall risk of homicide for women was substantially lower than that of men (rate ratio [RR] = 0.27), their risk of being killed by a spouse or intimate acquaintance was higher (RR = 1.23). In contrast to men, the killing of a woman by a stranger was rare (RR = 0.18). More than twice as many women were shot and killed by their husband or intimate acquaintance than were murdered by strangers using guns, knives, or any other means. Although women comprise more than half the U.S. population, they committed only 14.7% of the homicides noted during the study interval. In contrast to men, who killed nonintimate acquaintances, strangers, or victims of undetermined relationship in 80% of cases, women killed their spouse, an intimate acquaintance, or a family member in 60% of cases. When men killed with a gun, they most commonly shot a stranger or a non-family acquaintance."

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Dragline
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by Dragline » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:01 am

And here are some more recent statistics from a world-wide database -- interestingly, men are becoming less violent on average in some areas of the world, notably Europe and East Asia (looks like a correlation with lower fertility rates to me, which would not be surprising):

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1635092

"The overwhelming pattern is that men kill both men and women

Polarization exists not only in terms of the sex of homicide victims and where homicide occurs, but also in
terms of the sex of its perpetrators. Specifically, the vast majority of homicide perpetrators are male. Available
data indicate that this general pattern is also the case for homicide convictions, with men accounting for an
average of 95 per cent of all persons convicted of homicide in countries for which data are available. This
pattern is homogeneous across all regions of the world."

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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:55 am

scriptbunny wrote:Androgens and societal expectations.
I doubt this to be the case. Increased obesity is highly correlated with decreased testosterone. This means men should be less violent the fatter we get. Social expectations of men to be violent have significantly decreased since the 1960's (in the US at least), yet violent crime peaked in the 1980's & 90's. This appears to follow the generational cycle proposed by Strauss & Howe vs societal trends and expectations on what constitutes a "good" man. In fact, I would argue that a lack of outlet for the more violent tendencies of men is a partial driver of violent crime. Today in the US, men post high school age rarely participate in sports and fewer percentage join the military. Their violent tenancies instead are vented through association with those who can participate in socially acceptable violence (ie sports fans) and video games (ie fighting and first person shooters games). The question becomes whether these nonviolent, violentesque activities are enough to satiate hundreds of thousands of years of evolutionary biology. OTOH, their is some research that shows men who do participate in sports are more violent off the field as well. I tent to take all academic research on this subject with a grain of salt, due to bias and given the "secretive" use of performance enhancing drugs/supplements, but that's just my opinion.

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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by James_0011 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:36 pm

Androgens don't make people aggressive, where is the proof?

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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:06 pm

James_0011 wrote:Androgens don't make people aggressive, where is the proof?
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... -violence/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 132241.htm

http://www.csun.edu/~mg640721/Fall%2006 ... scence.pdf (older lit review, cira 2002 suggesting the same chicken/egg situation)

http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC4199296/ This study suggests Testoterone is only coorleated in violence in women, not men.

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bryan
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by bryan » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:39 pm

When previous posters mention testosterone, I don't think they mean it is the independent variable in some stand-alone experiment that causes violence (like e.g. meth/crack/bathsalts). I think they mean the fact that testosterone is what causes males to be on average bigger, stronger, etc throughout history lead to males being more violent? Something like that..

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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:40 pm

EMJ wrote:
Seems inherent to most larger mammals where males are wired/adapted to fight with each other over control of resources and/or reproductive privileges.
Except that's not how it always works. From wikipedia on Dominance hierarchy:

As expected, the individual who emerges triumphant is rewarded with the dominant status, having demonstrated his/her physical superiority. However, the costs incurred to the defeated, which include loss of reproductive opportunities and quality food, can hinder the individual’s fitness. In order to minimize these losses, animals generally retreat from fighting or displaying fighting ability unless there are obvious cues indicating victory. These often involve characteristics that provide an advantage during agonistic behavior, such as size of body, displays, etc.
...
Engaging in agonistic behavior can be very costly and thus there are many examples in nature of animals who achieve dominance in more passive ways.
Never said it was a universal law of nature ...

The retreat/avoid behavior is predicated on the potential aggressive/violent behavior which in turn is confined in the majority of cases among mammals to the male of the species (which was the original question: why males more so than females?). It's especially evident in the larger wild herd grazing mammals (bison, deer, moose, elk, etc.), where for these mostly nonviolent animals to breed a challenger must supplant the dominant male by force in a winner-take-all contest. These contests are often spectacular. Mature males of many large predatory mammals will not even share territory with other mature males and will go so far as to kill any offspring of other males they encounter. Even among more social predators such as wolves violence or threats of violence establishes the hierarchy and territorial incursions are met with aggression. In chimps, our closest relatives, there are documented cases of troops of male chimps killing lone non-affiliated males who posed no apparent threat just because they could.

Outside of the chimps maybe, most larger mammal intra-species violence occurs between males, serves a narrow purpose (usually the objective is not to kill the opponent), and once the purpose is served it is discontinued. In humans that is not always the case, which is why I said for us it is often carried to ugly extremes. And yes, male mammals will try to get by with intimidation and threats, a tactic that humans readily employ as well.
Last edited by IlliniDave on Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

James_0011
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by James_0011 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:53 pm

bryan wrote:When previous posters mention testosterone, I don't think they mean it is the independent variable in some stand-alone experiment that causes violence (like e.g. meth/crack/bathsalts). I think they mean the fact that testosterone is what causes males to be on average bigger, stronger, etc throughout history lead to males being more violent? Something like that..
Men are more likely to have high estrogen levels, due to the lack of the protective progesterone hormone found in abundance in women. Estrogen clearly causes aggression.

http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/1 ... ggression/

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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:49 pm

I truly do not believe that it is just cultural, because it is not the case that every culture teaches men to limit their emotional expression towards aggression. For instance,many of the green people believe that it is a sign of masculinity to express every sort of emotion in a grand manner. Picture Zorba the Greek kissing his male friend enthusiastically, and then bursting into tears, shouting something, then dancing.

Also, eunuchs are less likely to be violent and more likely to live as long as women.

On the plus side, men with high testosterone levels are also more likely to engage in heroic acts of altruism, like rescuing somebody from a fire. This makes sense because evolution would favor this over somebody with a couple ovaries full of eggs risking her life for the group.

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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by scriptbunny » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:04 am

classical_Liberal wrote:I doubt this to be the case. Increased obesity is highly correlated with decreased testosterone. This means men should be less violent the fatter we get.
There are many risk factors to obesity-- poverty, food access, exercise-- that are also risk factors for aggression. I honestly don't know the stats of obesity v. violence, but even if there were a correlation I would not jump to androgens being the hidden variable.
classical_Liberal wrote: Social expectations of men to be violent have significantly decreased since the 1960's (in the US at least), yet violent crime peaked in the 1980's & 90's. This appears to follow the generational cycle proposed by Strauss & Howe vs societal trends and expectations on what constitutes a "good" man.
Again, there are lots of risk factors that led to violence in 1980's and 1990's-- the aftereffects of racially segregated housing, cut to social programs, generation exposed to leaded gasoline finally growing up. I would not claim societal expectations of male violence to have primacy in intergenerational comparisons.

classical_Liberal wrote: In fact, I would argue that a lack of outlet for the more violent tendencies of men is a partial driver of violent crime. Today in the US, men post high school age rarely participate in sports and fewer percentage join the military. Their violent tenancies instead are vented through association with those who can participate in socially acceptable violence (ie sports fans) and video games (ie fighting and first person shooters games). The question becomes whether these nonviolent, violentesque activities are enough to satiate hundreds of thousands of years of evolutionary biology. OTOH, their is some research that shows men who do participate in sports are more violent off the field as well. I tent to take all academic research on this subject with a grain of salt, due to bias and given the "secretive" use of performance enhancing drugs/supplements, but that's just my opinion.
I read this as: People who find non-violent outlets for their aggression are less violent than they would otherwise be. Which I totally agree with.

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bryan
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Re: Why are men more violent

Post by bryan » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:19 pm


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