Instigative aggression: traditional versus liberal sex roles

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Theodore D. Nirenberg (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jacquelyn Gaebelein

Abstract: A review of the literature on sex differences in aggression reveals that in the majority of studies males are physically more aggressive than females (Buss, 1963; 1966; Taylor and Epstein, 1967). However, most experimenters have grouped male and female data with respect to sex differences rather than on specific characteristics of the individual. The present study addresses itself to the question whether there are some males who are equally or less aggressive than females and whether there are males who do not differentiate between the sex of the target of aggression, when sex role attitudes are taken into account. Most of the studies on sex differences in aggression also have examined the overt expression of aggression in a simple shock exchange paradigm which involves just the subject and victim. It seems apparent that in society all aggressiveness is not that simple, but in fact involves the presence of others. Gaebelein (1973a) modified Taylor's (1967) paradigm such that third party instigation of aggression was investigated. This paradigm was used in the present study. Briefly, 40 male subjects were preselected according to their score on the Attitude Toward Women Scale (Spence & Helmreich, 1972). The subject (advisor) and a confederate (responder) were told that they were to work together in a competitive task against two other people. On each trial the confederate (responder) was to attempt to attain a faster reaction time than his competitor, since the one with the slower reaction time would receive a shock.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1976
Sex role

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