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THREAD: Sex Differences in Aggression

According to a recent New York Times article, boys are more violent than girls – but their tendency to violence isn't innate. nytimes.com/2019/03/30/opi…

Certainly, socialization matters. But biology matters as well. Here's how we know... 1/10
First, "we spend a lot more time discouraging male aggression than female… Males, it seems, are more aggressive *despite* culture, not because of it." amazon.com/Ape-that-Under… #TheApeThatUnderstoodTheUniverse 2/10
"By clamping down on male aggression, culture may make the sex difference in aggression *smaller* than it would otherwise have been." amazon.com/Ape-that-Under… #TheApeThatUnderstoodTheUniverse 3/10
Second, "the sex difference in aggression appears very early in life… [and] remains static until puberty… If socialization creates the sex difference, why doesn't continued socialization before puberty pry the sexes apart?" amazon.com/Ape-that-Under… 4/10
Third, "as with many sex differences, the sex difference in aggression suddenly swells at puberty… Is it just a coincidence that this comes at the same time as the massive surge in circulating testosterone that accompanies puberty in males?" amazon.com/Ape-that-Under… 5/10
Fourth, "male aggression steadily nosedives through the remainder of the lifespan. The socialization hypothesis offers no particular reason to expect this." amazon.com/Ape-that-Under… #TheApeThatUnderstoodTheUniverse 6/10
Fifth, sex differences in aggression are a cross-cultural universal. In every culture on record, for instance, men commit the vast majority of homicides (and are more likely to be the victims of homicide as well). unodc.org/documents/gsh/… 7/10
Sixth, contrary to the idea that sex differences are a product of gender roles, sex differences in adolescent physical aggression are larger, not smaller, in more gender-equal nations (N = 247,909) onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.10… 8/10
Finally, comparable differences are found in many other species. For example…

Humans: Males commit 95% of homicides and are 79% of homicide victims unodc.org/documents/gsh/…

Chimps: Males commit 92% of chimpicides and are 73% of chimpicide victims nature.com/articles/natur… 9/10
For more on the origins of human sex differences, check out Chapter 3 of my book The Ape That Understood the Universe. (And check out the new cover of the forthcoming paperback edition – featuring a foreword by the inimitable @MichaelShermer!) 👇 amazon.com/Ape-that-Under… 10/10
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