Sunday, Sep 27 2020

Violence has a biological basis

Original posted by Laura Natividad

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Scientific Articles

  • Puigvert, L., Gelsthorpe, L., Soler-Gallart, M., & Flecha, R. (2019). Girls’ perceptions of boys with violent attitudes and behaviours, and of sexual attraction. Palgrave Communications5(1), 1-12.
  • Tremblay, R. E., Vitaro, F., & Côté, S. M. (2018). Developmental origins of chronic physical aggression: a bio-psycho-social model for the next generation of preventive interventions. Annual review of psychology69, 383-407.
  • Tremblay, R. E. (2000). The development of agressive behaviour during childhood: What have we learned in the past century?. International journal of behavioral development24(2), 129-141.

Explanation of the Post

Although there is a social perception that violent behavior has a biological basis, there is no strong scientific evidence to support this.

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  1. There are so many scientific contributions that highlights the importance of the socialization linked with the attraction or rejection of the violence. One of the most relevant was published in 2019 by Lídia Puigvert, Loraine Gelsthorpe, Marta Soler-Gallart and Ramon Flecha, at Plagrave Communication this study evidence “Through a survey conducted on 100 female adolescents (aged 13–16) in different European secondary schools (in England, Spain, Cyprus and Finland), they analysed their pattern of attraction for both ‘hooking up’ and stable relationships towards boys with either violent attitudes and behaviour or boys with non-violent behaviour, what would be linked to gender violence victimization at a later stage in their lives. The findings suggest that in the different European secondary schools studied, a similar pattern of attraction is recognized by female participants: although non-violent boys are highly preferred to those with a violent profile, we observed that boys with violent attitudes and behaviours are mostly preferred for hooking up, and boys with non-violent traits are mostly preferred for stable relationships.”


    • Puigvert, L., Gelsthorpe, L., Soler-Gallart, M. et al. Girls’ perceptions of boys with violent attitudes and behaviours, and of sexual attraction. Palgrave Commun 5, 56 (2019).


    I this article ( Ritchard Tremblay and others says that your question is part of a LONG-STANDING NATURE–NURTURE DEBATE. As they says, surely, aggression has a biological basis as well the need to be learned, like eating and jumping. Jumping is a posible behavior of humans, so we are prepared to jump, but jumping is also a learned behavior.
    Tremblay says that first forms of aggression appears with temper tamtrums in early childhood that include hiting. No body showed to children doing tamtrums, this is a natural reaction of some children when they feel anger. “In 1972, Donald Hebb, a father of modern psychology, noted that children did not need to learn how to have a temper tantrum” (Tremblay, 2002).
    Tremblay and others finish the debate explanation with this words:

    In fact, to our knowledge, even biologists and psychologistswho studied aggression in mammals, such as rats, mice, and primates, had not done developmental studies to unravel the developmental origins of aggression, probably because it appeared obvious to them that aggression is an adaptive mechanism needed for a species to survive, as itappeared obvious to social psychologists and sociologists that humans learn to aggress from their environment.

    Tremblay arges here ( that the definition of aggression dependes on our definition of aggression, and sometimes also the ideology of the author.
    In any case, Tremblay argues that despite what we think about the origin of violence, what is clear that violence is also learned, from very early childhood and that above all, it must be unlearned or learn to don’t use it. (Tremblay, 2002)


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