The Anger Difference Are Men or Women Angrier

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        <p>When you read these words, somewhere in America, a couple is
arguing. Both shout in anger. He walks away ignoring her, knowing that
will make her angrier. She follows him into another room, still venting
her rage. Finally, without warning, he turns and strikes her, ending the
<p>Our first impression of this scene is of the violent male. It is true
that men are more likely to commit violent crimes such as aggravated
assaults and murders, whereas the bulk of womens violence in crime is
simple assault. Even so, it is simplistic to say that men are the angry
sex and women the gentler sex. <a rel="nofollow"
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<p>Men and women show many anger similarities. 1 Men are not always the
aggressive sex, and women can show the extremes of anger. The Greek hero
Achilles had his share of sulking and pouting in his tent, and the Bibles
Samson seemed quite patient with the schemes of Delilah. On the other
hand, few men in history could rival the anger of Shakespeares Lady
Macbeth or the Bibles Jezebel. Both men and women shout, sulk, explode,
criticize, and commit child abuse. It would be equally untrue to say that
there are no differences between the sexes with regard to anger. Men and
women do have dissimilar predisposing brains and hormones, and different
cultural histories often lead them into differences of anger expression.
Knowing<br> <br> the nature of these differences can better help us
understand our own and other peoples anger.<br> <br> The Biology of Male
and Female Anger</p>
<p>The Brain and Anger<br> <br> Brain differences between the sexes can
lead men and women to view anger-producing situations with different
mindsets. These same<br> <br> brain differences can also predispose men
and women to choose certain responses to anger rather than others.2 In
general, women are more likely to display a wider range of emotion in
anger than are men. This does not just mean that women cry more when
angry, which they do. Women are also more likely than men to verbalize
their angers and reasons<br> <br> for their angers. Men, on the other
hand, are more likely than women to be aggressive in anger situations.
Male anger in general also rises and falls more quickly than female
anger. These differences in male and female anger expression are in part
a reflection of male and female brain differences. Recent PET scan and
fMRI (functional MRI) studies reveal that female brains are more net like
in that they show more elaborate connections in all cortical areas. The
female also has a proportionately larger corpus callosum than the male,
which also increases emotional and verbal interconnections to all areas
of the female brain. Male brains by contrast possess the same
sensory,<br> <br> emotional, and verbal centers of activity but with less
neural circuitry connecting the centers. One result of such brain
differences is<br> <br> that the female brain seems more personal and
detail oriented. The male brain, by contrast, offers a less personal,
more abstract view of<br> <br> the world. It is easier for a male to see
people as objects and this, along with other factors, may lead him into
acts of greater violence<br> <br> and aggression. Women, by contrast, are
more likely to use their verbal superiority than muscles to attack, and
they will continue arguments internally long after confrontations.<br>
<br> Testosterone and Anger<br> <br> Higher male hormonal levels are also
implicated in male aggressiveness and more overt expressions of anger. In
most animals from mice to men, with few exceptions, the male of the
species is the more aggressive and the male hormone testosterone is
implicated in this. Men have 10 times the level of testosterone in their
bodies than women have. The organizing effects of testosterone help to
develop the male fetal brain and its characteristic disconnectedness.
Later, the activating effects of testosterone affect male and female
bodies and brains in anger and sexual situations. Both sexes get angry,
but the flood of testosterone in the male pushes harder against men
toward certain anger expressions. Men and women both use verbal
expression, but men overwhelmingly choose physical violence. This does
not mean that higher levels of testosterone<br> <br> dictate anger
responses.3 Small, weak wives often use loud anger to control their
larger, more muscular husbands. Equating high testosterone<br> <br>
levels with male aggression is only part of the anger picture. Human male
aggressive behavior does not increase at puberty as testosterone levels
increase, is not increased by testosterone injections, and is not
eliminated by castration. Although a flood of testosterone does not
guarantee aggression and anger, it does provide the rush of energy that
males can use for aggressive purposes.<br> <br> <br> <br> Culture and
Male and Female Anger<br> <br> Male and female differences in anger
expression are not entirely due to biology. Society also conditions or at
least reinforces already existing biological differences between men and
women. Our culture does in some ways free the male to engage in more
overtly aggressive anger. Women, who feel just as angry, learn to show
less direct expressions of anger. Society often expects little girls to
be nice and sweet and never angry. Society may not encourage aggressive
displays in young males, but aggression is more discouraged in young
females. Society, therefore, reinforces some of the natural inclinations
of men and women with regard to external aggression versus verbal and
indirect expressions of<br> <br> anger. It is not clear that little boys
and girls are much different before the age of three with regard to anger
expression, but, after age three, sex-specific anger expressions are
noticed. When little boys begin to kick and hit with more frequency,
little girls begin to use more verbal insults and facial expressions such
as rolling their eyes, curling their lips, and sticking out their
tongues. Boys are quite capable of verbal aggression, but boys shout with
their bodies as well as their mouths. Girls soon learn to snub one
another, walk off in a huff, pretend not to care, sulk, criticize,
gossip. These are indirect expressions of aggression. Culture alone does
not cause male and female differences in anger, but cultural training
gives male and female anger models for kids to follow. Modern film, for
example, is filled with hard hitting, aggressive male heroes, who solve
problems by resorting to violence. Until recently women were rarely cast
into such roles. With the advent of GI Jane, Xena, Warrior Princess, and
Star Treks fighting Klingon females, we may see the emergence of more
overt female aggressiveness. For most women, who place higher values on
communication, feelings, and relationships, internalizing anger and
developing indirect expressions of anger seem to be common.<br> <br>
Counseling Male and Female Anger<br> <br> All angry males and females
need to follow the same biblical teaching on angerto be slow to anger and
to express anger properly.4 But, at the same time, the fact that there
are male and female differences in anger expression means that there will
be some counseling differences. Men need to control the aggressiveness of
their anger and be better listeners and communicators in anger
situations. Women need to avoid imitating the violence of men in response
to lifes frustrations. Women instead need to learn a proper assertiveness
and to model communication in resolving anger situations. Women also need
to deal with buried anger in regard to past abuse. Men and women are
fallen, hurting people who have common angers and need similar help.</p>

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