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The Aggressive Instinct in Freudian Rhetoric - Essay Example

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Theorists from various disciplines, especially those in the social sciences, have fiercely debated whether men are naturally more aggressive or destructive than women. Many natural scientists argue that male destructiveness is natural and designed for competition and survival…
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The Aggressive Instinct in Freudian Rhetoric
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The Aggressive Instinct in Freudian Rhetoric

2011, 85), testosterone level in males was discovered to vary after aggressive activities, like sports competitions. Levels of testosterone rose following a victory and fell following a defeat. The researchers emphasised that the level of testosterone is directly related to the creation of social hierarchies. In addition, culture significantly influences the manifestation of aggression (Goodwin et al. 2011). According to Ashley Montagu (1973), in almost all cultural groups, the issue of territoriality is more associated with social factors, kinship, and tribalism. Moreover, in numerous cultures, like Pygmies, Australian aborigines, Bushmen, Pueblo Indians, and others, the males are not hostile, warlike, and destructive. There are cultural groups which do not promote or instil aggressive behaviours (Montagu 1973). Genetics, environment, and culture are vital and interdependent on the issue of aggression. Still, as shown by existing findings, it is logical to argue that males have greater tendency to destroy or show aggressiveness than females. Furthermore, there are findings from child development regarding the higher natural inclination of men towards aggression (Goodwin et al. 2011). Chodorow (1978 as cited in Mansfield 2007, 29) reports that throughout the preoedipal stage, boys need to separate from their dominant mother to attain a manly gender character, whilst girls can sustain their relationship with the mother of babyhood, and their identity formation is not pressured by reliance on her. As mentioned by Mansfield 2007, the need of the boy to gain self-sufficiency and separation from the mother leads to a heightened need for power and aggression in grown-up men. The Freudian Account While other theorists tended to look on aggression as...
The Aggressive Instinct in Freudian Rhetoric

This essay discusses whether or not human beings have an instinct to destroy. The discussion mostly applies Sigmund Freud’s feminist accounts of aggression. An Overview The physical manifestation of aggression and the anatomical reactions are the same and natural for both male and female. The steroid hormone testosterone in males is discovered to boost aggressiveness and enhance muscle mass. Males are normally more powerfully built and bigger physically than females (Lippa 2005). In a re-evaluation of studies as far as 1974, Maccoby and Jacklin and Moyer reported that in every culture throughout history, men are more destructive than women. Men perpetrate more vicious acts and more deeds of planned or personal aggression than women. Dabbs and Morris, in an investigation of Vietnam vets, discovered that males with increased levels of testosterone were more prone to have a background of multiple sexual partners, substance abuse, power competition, and criminal behaviour. Almost all of these men were not financially well-off; in men belonging to a superior class, the specific social situations or career may affect whether or not their violent behaviour is redirected and manifested through social ‘authority’.
Almost nobody would challenge the belief that humans have an instinct to destroy, or that aggression is biologically or genetically based. It is also logical to assume that it emerges in reaction to threat and dissatisfaction. ... Read More
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