This research is designed to support the hypothesis that men are more likely to become aggressive when frustrated than women are. The study is done through an experiment.
Two research studies on this hypothesis from other scholars have educated this study. The first research is titled testosterone and aggression. It is designed to prove that men are more likely to be aggressive than women due to the biological fact that the male hormone, testosterone, causes aggressive behavior in men.
The persons involved in this study are: a group of male and female preschoolers, a randomly selected group of 4,462 men, a group of 692 male inmates and a group of 87 inmates in a maximum security prison. The research looks at actions that may result from malfunctions of the neuropsychological functions and how the actions vary in men and women. This study views aggression from a neuropsychological point of view and comes to a conclusion that men are naturally more aggressive than women.
The second research study is titled: Violent video games lead to Brain Activity characteristic of aggression. The study is conducted on thirteen German male volunteers whose ages vary from 18- 26 years. The research is developed from another study which concludes that men are better in playing video games than women.
This research looks at the parts of our brains which become active when man engages in aggressive behavior. Playing violent video games activates brain cells similar to those activated during aggression. Men are better that women in these video game and therefore this means that their neurological response aggression is higher than that of women. A phenomenon which makes them more aggressive than women.
Aggression is defined as a complex social behavior which is intended to inflict harm or unhappiness upon another individual. (Haggbloom S.J). It is generally said that men are more aggressive physically than women due to their more defined physique.
On the other hand humans are emotional beings and their emotions produce different actions in both men and women. The hypothesis that men are more aggressive than women when frustrated can therefore only be explained by studying the difference in the neurological functions between men and women.
The first research study shows that due to the male hormone, testosterone men are more aggressive than women. The study also indicates that criminal and aggressive behavior in men is linked to high levels of testosterone. ( Haggbloom S.J).
Testosterone has an effect on the degree of aggression exhibited by both men and women from early life. To support his, a study was conducted among 28 male and 20 female preschoolers. Their levels of aggression in social and play situations were observed. Afterwards, their salivary testosterone was measured and the results depicted a direct relation in boys (not girls) between their levels of testosterone and their levels of aggression in social situations.
Another study of 4,462 men revealed that high testosterone in men leads to delinquency, drug abuse and aggressive behavior. A study of 692 male inmates also revealed that hard core criminals had higher testosterone levels than their fellow inmates who were convicted for minor crimes.
A study was also conducted among 87 female inmates in a maximum security prison. Women with higher testosterone were more aggressive than their fellow counterparts with low testosterone who exhibited sneaky behavior. Behaviorists explain this as a defense mechanism acquired subconsciously due to low levels of testosterone in women which makes them less aggressive. (Haggbloom S.J) This decreases further with age and hence women tend to be even less aggressive than their male counterparts as they grow older. According to this study, the number of women involved in crime decreases significantly among women in the older age brackets.
Hormones (including testosterone) are part of a complex neurocircuit that can lead to aggression. On the other hand, neuropsychological dysfunction can result from brain structural anomalies that are caused by genetic, nutritional as well as environmental factors. (Haggbloom S.J) One’s environment may trigger this dysfunction leading to impulsive and aggressive behavior as exhibited by men. This coupled with high testosterone makes men aggressive especially if their surroundings are frustrating and depressing. This is why you see men becoming alcoholics as a result of frustration.
Women will engage in less aggressive behavior when frustrated. They might cry or talk it over with their girlfriends. And because women are less likely to engage in aggressive behavior when frustrated they tend to live longer than men. The habits men engage in when they are frustrated make them engage in risky and violent behavior. For example they may result to physical confrontation which may lead to severe injury or death. This is probably why most women live longer or are healthier than their husbands.
The second study also relies on the study of the neurological functioning to explain aggressive behavior in men. In this study, a functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) study is conducted on thirteen male volunteers who are put under observation when playing a violent video game. (Science Daily 12 October 2005)
Each of the participants’ game is recorded and analyzed on a frame by frame basis. The results show that the brain pattern exhibited when playing the game is similar to that exhibited during aggressive behavior. (Science Daily 8 February 2008). In an earlier study, it was found that men are better than women in playing video games. This means that their neurobiological functioning makes them naturally more aggressive than women. The opposite of this is exhibited in the animal kingdom where the females are more aggressive than males.
These two articles guide our study on the hypothesis that men are likely to become more aggressive than women when frustrated. This study is conducted through an experiment. The independent variable is a frustrating environment and the dependent variable is aggressive behavior. The dependent variable will be manipulated using the dependent variable in order to come up with a conclusion of this hypothesis.
In this study we shall put the individuals in stressful frustrating situations and then observe the levels of aggression exhibited by the individuals. The study will use a group of male and female participants who will be exposed to situations that frustrate them. Their different responses will be monitored and a conclusion drawn on whether men are likely to become aggressive when frustrated than women are.
Our study will use the job environment to study this phenomenon. The job environment will be made as frustrating as possible. To do this, we will take a group of an equal number of male and female volunteers and put them in an office environment. The volunteers will comprise a mixture of young adults from both sexes and middle aged men and women whose age does not exceed the retirement age.
The study will be conducted in a hall which will be partitioned to create the small cubicles like those of a real office. There will be no water dispensers so everyone will have to carry their own water. The washrooms will not be functioning properly to discourage people from visiting them often. The computers will also have no internet connection. People will thus be forced to focus on their work only.
All the office equipment will then be made dysfunctional. This means that all the important machines in the office including photocopying machines, telephone sets, the printers, the faxes and computers will not be functioning normally. Either they will be too slow or they will not be functioning at all.
The volunteers will nevertheless be required to operate the office in the normal way. They will have to reply e-mails, fax, and print and photocopy documents and finish all their work on time. Failure to do this will mean them working extra hours even if it is late into the night in order to finish the day’s tasks.
They will also be expected to report early in the morning every day whether or not they went home late the previous night. Coffee breaks and lunch breaks will not be allowed if they have a big backlog of office work. They will also be forced to cancel their weekend plans if they have not completed the week’s work by Friday evening.
The study will last for two weeks. The volunteers will not be given any allowances during this two week period until they complete all the work. They will have people to monitor the progress of their work take the necessary actions in case of underperformance.
The main aim will be to see who between the men and the women will be the first to raise grievances or engage in physical confrontation as a result of the frustrating environment. A conclusion will then be drawn from this study.
Stanford University Medical Center. “Video Games Activate Reward Regions Of Brain In Men More Than Women.” ScienceDaily 8 February 2008. 21 July 2008 <http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/02/080204140115.htm>.
Michigan State University. “Violent Video Games Lead To Brain Activity Characteristic Of Aggression.” ScienceDaily 12 October 2005. 21 July 2008 <http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2005/10/051012082710.htm>.
Haggbloom S.J. The 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century, Review of General Psychology, (2002) 6 (2). 139-152