Aggression is a common behavior in humans. It is not necessary to regard aggressiveness in a person as a bad quality for it has been found to be necessary in animals and is a part of nature. The more aggressive animal in a species is generally more successful, powerful and gains control over food, territory and mates. Aggression is also a means of maintaining social order. Aggressiveness in this case becomes a necessity for Darwin's survival of the fittest.
In the highly developed human, there is a negative form of aggressiveness called as malignant aggression where man causes harm or injury to another for the sole purpose of sadistic pleasure or revenge. These acts are generally premeditated or planned and it is this form of aggressiveness that should be discouraged in children.
This form of aggressiveness is more often than not due to nurture and not nature. It results from negative emotions like frustration, hatred, prejudice, and fear or from depression or mental imbalance.
Children are exposed to violence from a very early age thanks to television, news and cases of domestic violence at home and quarrel in the school. Children have been found to learn from these experiences and behave in an aggressive manner because of this sort of exposure. But it has been found that the aggressiveness is an innate trait and is as much biological and genetic as it is environmental. Children who are aggressive and violent have been found to have parents and relatives who are violent and aggressive.
[...] In a time of emergency, all humans tend to be aggressive to protect oneself but it has been found that the violent criminals and killers or children who get into fights often, grew up in a violent environment and lacked a happy, non violent domestic life. Dean Hamar in “Living with our Genes” is careful not to say that solely our DNA determines our personalities. Hamar argues that building character (our flexibility and control over nature) can control undesirable qualities of temperament (what we are born with). [...]
[...] Children who steal, aggress, use drugs, and have conduct problems with peers, family or in school, and then conceal the problems by lying, are the most likely to become delinquent.” (Loeber, 1990) Aggressive children often come from aggressive homes, in which not only are their parents and others within the family physical with each other but even the child's own aggressiveness has been harshly punished. Research has documented similar aggression from grandparents to parents to grandchildren. (Patterson, 1976; Byrne & Kelley, 1981) The television is the one major factor that develops aggressive behavior in humans. [...]
[...] (Sarah McCawley, 2002) Social Learning Theory This model of Nurture theory denies that humans are innately aggressive and that aggression is learned by either observing aggressive model (movies, domestic violence or even the news) or by receiving payoffs following acts of aggression. These payoffs may be in the form of stopping aggression by others, gaining praise, status and respect by being aggressive, a sense of power and security or just reducing tension and stress. (ibid) Self-hatred and Understanding Theodore Rubin, in the book “Compassion and self-hatred: An alternative to despair” gives a theory showing self hatred, disliking any part of ourselves, as a main cause for aggressive behavior. [...]
[...] All the surveys and studies go to show that if one is raised in a violent environment, one may model his life after the examples he is provided, possibly becoming a permanently aggressive person. Chapter DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS Analysis The various literature reviews and surveys and experiments make one thing clear. There is a certain amount of biological influence on man's aggressive nature and this serves the purpose of self-preservation and for maintaining social status and social order. But violent (not just aggressive) acts, that too malignant ones with an intent to derive sadistic pleasure or cause immense harm or even kill is not natural. [...]
[...] Psychiatrists feel aggressiveness is a result of upbringing and the environment that the person has lived in and societal factors control the patterns of human aggression. They believe that these factors affect the person's mental state resulting in fear, hatred, prejudice and other such negative emotions that give rise to anger that is exhibited as violence and affective aggressiveness. Biologists feel that emotions and behavioral characteristics like aggressiveness, depression, fear, excitement and so on are all part of the particular person's nature and is dependent on the subject's DNA. [...]
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