Cultural Anthropology

Statistically, are men more likely to commit acts of violence than women?
Answered by Discovery Fit & Health
  • Discovery Fit & Health

    Discovery Fit & Health

  1. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, about three times as many men commit homicide than women [source: Bureau of Justice Statistics]. A report showed that men had a higher rate of workplace violence than women, along with a slightly higher rate of nonfatal violence away from the workplace [source: Harrell]. The rates are similar for other types of violent crime as well. Although it may be true that some violent crimes committed by women go unreported, there probably aren't enough to even the scales. These findings suggest that men are more violent than women.

    There is no overwhelming agreement among psychologists about the cause of human violence. Some believe that it's innate in our species and that any number of external stimuli, including medical conditions, can bring it out suddenly and irresistibly. Others think that violence is learned. Support for the latter position comes from the anthropological notion that before civilization developed, humans lived in small, peaceful groups with little interpersonal violence. Those who believe that violence is learned often theorize that violence emerged when humans began to live more closely together, collect material wealth and establish social hierarchies.

    People often attribute violence to mental illness, which does not necessarily explain the slightly higher incidence in violence among men. It's also not true; most people who commit violent acts against others are not mentally ill and are aware of their actions at the time, says the American Mental Health Foundation [source: AMHF]. Modern theories regarding causes of violence start with the offender having good health, which means forming caring attachments with others, achieving reasonable mastery (the ability to problem-solve and shape one's environment) and having a meaningful purpose in life. Aside from being a healthy person in those respects, theories of violence revolve around the influences of culture, genetics, sociological and psychological factors.

    Boys and men often are socialized to be more aggressive and this can culminate in violence against women. Men Stopping Violence, an Atlanta-based organization, promotes programs such as the "Because We Have Daughters" initiative to help raise awareness and to address violence against women [source: Men Stopping Violence].

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