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The Natural Condition of Violence Against Women - Essay Example

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The Natural Condition of Violence against Women Introduction A large number of feminist scholars argue that the violence against women is not a natural phenomenon. Its prevalence lies in a social construction driven by age-old socio-cultural practices. Though many disagree and state that it is a result of hormonal and chromosomal difference between males and females…
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The Natural Condition of Violence Against Women
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"The Natural Condition of Violence Against Women"

Nearly 3 in 10 women have been victims of physical violence, rape or stalking by an intimate partner. Such violence runs across all ethnicity across all states in a smaller or larger magnitude. The moot question is whether this age old violence and dominance against women is given in the biology of the males. Many scholars attribute the cause of violence by male intimates in their hormone levels. Pleck (1987) argues that roots of male aggression lies in the male sex hormones. According to him the androgens levels create effect of aggression. Animal hormone study is a point in this regard to have some basis of relation between aggression and hormonal levels. Pleck (1987) cited about the study done on rhesus monkeys that indicated that the dominant position of male was due to its testosterone level. It was also observed that manipulating hormone levels in males could change their dominant positions. Pleck concludes that in animal studies a relationship between aggression and testosterone level is well established. Pleck (1987) argues on the basis of several studies done by Moyer and others that estrogenic drugs are used to suppress aggressive behaviors in males. Several biochemical substances of anti-androgenic nature do reduce either male aggression or sexual libido. At the same time, introducing testosterone does increase the aggression. Maccoby and Jacklin (1974) study demonstrated the effects of hormones on behavior. According to study, a female hamster is found to be aggressive and that aggression is due to progesterone – a female sex hormone. In one of the study female hormones given to newborn rats could show the increased aggressive in females later in life but decreased aggressiveness in male rats. The point is that the biology does play a role somewhere in deciding the aggressiveness in the specie. Maccoby & Jacklin (1980) extends their argument further that males are clearly more aggressive and that is evident as early as the preschool years. The aggression does not halt there and goes further as the development progresses. They do agree that aggression may change its form and like all other behavior aggression gets modified through learning and social overtures. Phys.org (2006) unleashes biological basis of aggression in fruit flies. The joint finding from the team of Harvard Medical School and the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna opens up new dimensions on understanding the biology of aggression. According to the findings, a gene in slightly different forms in male and female forms of fruit flies give birth to differing behaviors – whether it will fight like a boy or like a girl. The study reveals that the differing behavior due to gene is woven into fruit fly neurons. The findings may go a step further in defining the biology of aggression and giving rise to differing behaviors. The fruitless gene is responsible for the sex-specific behavior – fighting patterns. The fruit flies switch their behaviors when the female and male versions of gene are also switched. Switching to masculine gene, female flies start lunging leaving aside their usual behaviors. The key finding here is that fruit fly gene does influence the nervous system for a specific behavior. This cannot be extrapolated for humans in the same fashion; however, it could become a basis to understand the human male aggression in future. It is quite possible that humans Read More
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