Men, Women, and Aggression

Men, Women, and Aggression

by Anne Campbell

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A look at gender differences employs candid interviews with ordinary men and women to offer a new understanding of aggression, asking why men are more aggressive than women.See more details below


A look at gender differences employs candid interviews with ordinary men and women to offer a new understanding of aggression, asking why men are more aggressive than women.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her concise exploration of male and female attitudes toward anger and aggression, Campbell ( Girls in Gangs ), a British psychologist and criminologist, claims that women view aggression as a ``temporary loss of control caused by overwhelming pressure and resulting in guilt,'' while men regard it as a means of imposing control over others. Campbell argues that patriarchal society considers women's aggression ``evil or irrational,'' and that women are obliged to conceal, deny or redefine their anger. The notion of ``premenstrual syndrome,'' she suggests, is just such a redefinition. Discussing battered women, she states that those who strike back at their attackers are treated unjustly because they have supposedly violated natural as well as criminal law. With compelling, sometimes chilling examples, Campbell also explores the impact of male and female styles of aggression on the nuclear family as well as on criminal behavior. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Campbell begins by asking ``How do most women avoid fighting?'' She concludes that the reason lies not in biology but in social representations, i.e., how people think about aggression and express its meaning through behavior. Men view aggression as instrumental, a tool divorced from emotion that is used to control the behavior of others. Women, on the other hand, view aggression as expressive, an eruption of emotion that breaks relationships. In exploring instrumental versus expressive uses of aggression, Campbell compares the behavior of ``ordinary'' men and women, gang members, and perpetrators of domestic violence. According to Campbell, those women who react in normal female aggression patterns are labeled as ``mad'' or ``bad'' by our social, medical, and legal systems, which are based on instrumental (i.e., male) patterns of aggression. Her provocative and well-written book is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-- Lucy Patrick, Florida State Univ. Lib., Tallahassee
Psychologist/criminologist Campbell draws heavily on interviews to examine two research areas--aggression and gender differences. She shows how men's and women's different views of anger and restraint profoundly affect their actions and interaction, and she spells out the implications of these insights for understanding violent and criminal behavior. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

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Basic Books
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5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)
1260L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Anne Campbell is senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Durham, England, and is the author of The Girls in the Gang (1984) and Girl Delinquents (1981). Formerly an associate professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, she has spent nearly twenty years investigating aggression and violent behavior.

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