It’s just simple (fill in the blank). I hear that phrase every time someone can’t support their uneducated opinions. People seem to think many of the problems mankind face are simple and without variables. In my article here, I was debunking pit bull aggression myths and a commenter tried to tie it to simple biology. He gave a fallacious comparison to how human males are more violent and aggressive than females. When asking for citations, I got a meaningless rant instead. People don’t seem to realize that their opinion is n=1. A logical opinion consists of weighing the evidence we have with the actions and stance that you take.
Below, I listed the actual conclusions from the studies rather than dressing them up and cherry picking lines to make the data seem much more significant than it really is. Citation 1 and 4 are great Metadata reads that have over 50 citations each to further strengthen their argument.
“When physical aggression is the subject of inquiry, studies consistently find that as many women self-report perpetrating this behavior as do men; some studies find a higher prevalence of physical aggression committed by women” (1).
A Harvard study: Results. Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases. Reciprocity was associated with more frequent violence among women (2).
“The empirical data on these issues were provided by 13,601 university students who participated in the International Dating Violence Study in 32 nations. The results in the first part of this paper show that almost a third of the female as well as male students physically assaulted a dating partner in the 12 month study period, and that the most frequent pattern was mutuality in violence, i.e. both were violent, followed by “female-only” violence” (3).
A review of studies for teen dating violence by Laura J. Hickman ET. Al showed “more boys have reported perpetrating sexual abuse than have girls (37 percent and 24 percent, respectively), but more girls reported perpetrating physical abuse of their partners than did boys (28 percent and 11 percent, respectively) (4).
This study done with college samples also find that men and women commit similar rates of physical aggression (5).
So as you can see when all the smoke clears, there is no such thing as simple biology when dealing with behavior. There are so many variables that affect our decisions that it is ignorant to claim it is simple. Daphna Joel, a behavioral neuroscientist at Tel Aviv University in Israel says it best “There is no one type of male brain or female brain” “There is no sense in talking about male nature and female nature,” “Very few of the brains—between 0% and 8%—contained all male or all female structures” (6). This confirms what Jeffrey Satinover, MD, Psychiatrist with degrees from MIT, Harvard, the University of Texas and Yale who states that “there is essentially no dimension of behavior which is not both environmentally and genetically influenced. Heritability of (or genetic influence on) a trait does not mean that the trait itself is genetically determined. This elementary fact of behavioral genetics is rarely explained and it seems counterintuitive to most people” (7).
So here you have it, folks. We are all responsible for our own actions. Although we might not all have the same struggles, we all have obstacles to overcome. What really defines a person is how they deal and overcome them. Girls and boys blame, men and women address and solve. Another stereotype debunked!!!!
(1) Suzanne C. Swan, D. (2008). A Review of Research on Women’s Use of Violence With Male Intimate Partners. Violence And Victims, 23(3), 301. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2968709/
(2) Whitaker, D., Haileyesus, T., Swahn, M., & Saltzman, L. (2007). Differences in Frequency of Violence and Reported Injury Between Relationships With Reciprocal and Nonreciprocal Intimate Partner Violence. Am J Public Health,97(5), 941-947. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1854883/
(3) Straus, Murray. “DOMINANCE AND SYMMETRY IN PARTNER VIOLENCE BY MALE AND FEMALE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN 32 NATIONS”. N.p., 2006. Web. 9 Aug. 2016. http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID41E2.pdf
(4) Laura J. Hickman, Lisa H. Jaycox– Dating Violence Among Adolescents: Prevalence, Gender Distribution, and Prevention Program Effectiveness (2016). Ncjrs.gov. Retrieved 9 August 2016, from http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/reprints/2005/RAND_RP1176.pdf
(5) Cercone JJ, e. (2016). Gender symmetry in dating intimate partner violence: does similar behavior imply similar constructs? – PubMed – NCBI . Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 9 August 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16075667
(6) Wheeling, K. (2015). The brains of men and women aren’t really that different, study finds. Science. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/11/brains-men-and-women-aren-t-really-different-study-finds
(7) SATINOVER. JEFFERY (2016). The Complex Interaction Of Genes And Environment Retrieved 9 August 2016, from http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/marriage-and-family/sexuality/the-complex-interaction-of-genes-and-environment-a-model-for-homosexuality.html