Table 114

Top Ten Challenges for Understanding Gender and Aggression

1. Definitions perplex us, in part because aggression occurs in particular social contexts.

2. Most previous research has explored physical aggression among boys.

3. Subtypes abound.

4. Most aggressive behaviors hurt in more than one way, and serve multiple goals.

5. Are some forms of aggression developmentally normative, or personality traits indicating clinical problems?

6. Which children are identified as highly aggressive depends heavily on whether aggressive youth are selected within or across gender groups.

7. Children's gender role stereotypes may strongly influence their own aggressive behaviors and their perceptions of these behaviors in others.

8. Systematically observing aggressive behavior among children is difficult.

9. Conceiving of subtypes of aggression as personality traits may be difficult because aggressive children may engage in multiple forms of aggression.

10. The best understanding of aggression among girls might require different conceptual frameworks and research methods than those that have been used with boys.

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