Something that really caught my attention from Chapter 13 was the difference in aggressiveness between men and women. According to the textbook, males have a higher level of physical aggressiveness than do females. The reasons behind this higher level of physical aggressiveness are controversial, however some researchers have identified this difference with higher levels of the hormone testosterone in males. It has also been found that females tend to have higher levels of relational aggressiveness than do males. Relational aggression, which is defined as a form of indirect aggression marked by spreading rumors, gossiping, social exclusion, and nonverbal putdowns for the purposes of interpersonal manipulation, is undoubtedly prominent in today's societies, especially among high school- and college-aged girls.
One example in which we can observe relational aggression among girls is in the movie Mean Girls. In the movie, Cady Heron, a home-schooled, high school-aged girl, experiences firsthand the components of relational aggression, including rumors, gossiping, and nonverbal putdowns. However, something that I found especially interesting was that these behaviors in the movie were compared with the physical aggressiveness of the animals that Cady was raised alongside of in Africa. I think that this demonstrates that relational aggression can be just as harmful as physical aggression that is often displayed by males. Relational aggression is hurtful and can often have long-term effects, which is why both women and men should avoid inflicting this kind of harm on other individuals.