Gender Aggression in Adolescence 



Aggression has been defined as harmful behaviors that hurt other people either by physical or verbal actions. Aggression gender differences among the adolescences are of considerable significance in the view of problems instigated by violent behaviors. Markedly, it is important to examine aggression differences between the males and the females in order to understand how curb the behavior in both genders. Identifying the causes of aggression is pivotal in preventing aggression. Studies have shown that verbal and physical violent acts may impact one gender more than the other. Notably, men and women express aggression differently-women are perceived to be more verbal aggressors while men are more physical aggressors. For this reason, men and women experience aggression in very different ways. Consequently, this means that there is need to adopt different methods to curb the menace. Apparently, there are a variety of factors that affect aggression in adolescence. In lieu of this, the present discussion seeks to explore how gender specifically affects differences in aggression. Importantly, the discussion analyzes how aggression is developed, expressed, and prevented while taking into consideration the gender factor. The researcher hypothesizes that physical aggression is higher in men generally, while women are higher in expressing verbal aggression. The hypothesis is based on the notion that men are more physical by nature and as a result women display aggression in verbal ways due to physical disadvantage.

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Adolescence Aggression Outlook

Aspects of aggression differ across gender in the types of aggression. This means that aggression between males and females is higher or lower depending on the sub type aggression (Buss, Perry, 1992). Aggression is first observed in infants. They express their anger through facial expression. The beginning of violent behaviors against peers includes hitting another child and tugging another kid’s toy. An observation research established large sex disparities for “seizing another kid’s toy” at the age of 17 months (Morsunbul, 2015). Studies have consistently reported higher levels of physical violence for boys at 2 years compared to girls of the same age. 

Aggression Development in Adolescents

Markedly, the sex differences in committing violent acts occur before the child get to socialize with other agents that in some way may influence the differences. Thus, it can ardently be stated that as the child becomes older, there is no apparent increase in the magnitude of gender difference in aggression. Studies have further revealed that there is as physical aggression inherently decreases from its peak between 3-5 years to be replaced by other alternatives of resolving conflicts (Bagwell et al., 2011). Markedly, both the decrease is evident in both sexes, although the initial aggression gender differences are maintained through adolescence and adulthood. 

However, as physical aggression reduces with increase in age, other important developmental changes occur. First, there is an increase in verbal forms of aggression. Secondly, the damages caused by physical aggression escalate. Verbal aggression primarily includes threatening actions and arguments that disparage other people’s reputation. This form of aggression is more common in girls than in boys. A study that involved peer reviewed reports found that girls aged between 11 and 17 years have higher involvement than boys of the same age bracket (Baillargeon et al., 2012). Moreover, researchers have found that while unlike the physical aggression that decreases with age while verbal aggression tends to increase. 

How Adolescents Express Aggression

As afore-noted, infants are known to express their anger through facial expression. Young teenagers will often shake their head in dismay to express their anger. Markedly, boys express their physical aggression in myriads of ways. This type of aggression is further sub-divided into four categories; accidental aggression, expressive aggression, hostile aggression, and instrumental aggression (Bagwell et al., 2011). Accidental aggression is the kind of anger seen when children are playing and one kid steps on the foot of another. Expressive form of aggression is intentional. It is expressed when a child throws an object to another kid. Hostile aggression causes injury or psychological torture (bullying falls in this category). Instrumental aggression stems when one infringes another person’s rights (Atan, 2016). As mentioned earlier on, girls express their aggression (in most cases, verbal aggression) through quarrels and arguments. They can also use social media to taint the image of another person.   

Prevention of Gender Based Aggression among the Adolescents

It is important for parents, teachers, and school counselors to facilitate adolescent involvement in supervised activities. Through this way, boys are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors. Also, this ensures that young children forge good relationships with their colleagues (Atan, 2016). Parents should figure out common causes of aggression among their kids. School counselors should pay attention to the children’s behaviors to assess who needs guidance. Lastly, they should be available; listen to teen’s views and offer support for them to feel cared for. Parents should set out boundaries- children should know that any form of aggression is not acceptable. 


To wrap up, the overarching aim of the discussion was to examine how aggression is developed, expressed, and prevented while taking into consideration the gender factor. The study finding concurs with my hypothesis that physical aggression is higher in men generally, while women are better known to express verbal aggression. Moreover, the analysis has found that physical aggression decreases with age while verbal aggression increases. Physical aggression is expressed through physical assaults such as bullying. On the other hand, verbal aggression is expressed through quarrels and arguments. The discussion has also highlighted several ways through of preventing aggression in adolescents including guidance and counseling.

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  1. Atan, T. (2016). Comparison of sports sciences and education faculty student’s aggression scores. 
  2. Bagwell, C. L. Molina, B. & Pelham, W. E.(2011), Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorderand problems in peer relations: predictionsfrom childhood to adolescence, Americanjournal of child and adolescent psychiatry, 40,1285-92.
  3. Baillargeon, R., Tremblay, R. & Willms, J. D.(2012), Physical agression among toddlers:does it run in families? in Vulnerable children:Findings from Canad’s Longitudinal Study ofChildren and Youth, J. D. Willms (Ed.),University of Alberta Press.
  4. Morsunbul, U. (2015). The effect of identity development, self-esteem, low self- control and gender on aggression in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, 61, 99-116.  
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