Female Aggression: Evolution’s Not So Secret Weapon

Margaret M. Matthews, Abigail A. Baird


In the present article, we examine the relatively recent and substantial increase in physical aggression among adolescent females. We review what is known about the prevalence and specific characteristics of aggression among adolescent females, and then propose a novel way of understanding this behavior. Existing evidence from multiple academic disciplines is reviewed and integrated to propose a new framework for considering the underpinnings of physical aggression in females. Most examinations of physical aggression in females have focused on non-human animal models of maternal aggression. In spite of this, the growing prevalence of physical aggression among adolescent females continues to be poorly understood. We endeavor to integrate multiple viewpoints on female aggression and posit a conceptualization of female aggression among adolescents that reflects an immature, socially inexperienced, precursor to functional maternal aggression.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/assc.v4n1p31


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