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Related: assault - anger - crime - cruelty - predator - sadism - violence - war


Aggression may be defined as

Aggression is one of the most important and most controversial kinds of motivation. Its use as a category in the psychology of motivation has often been criticised, because it is clear that it encompasses a vast range of phenomena, from modern war to squabbles between individuals, and it is far from clear that these have anything in common other than the risk that someone gets hurt. There is a constant danger that concepts and explanations that are useful in the study of one kind of aggression will be misapplied in a different field. However, it remains one of the most important topics in many areas of psychology and other social sciences, including:

Not all aggression is direct or readily identifiable, especially aggression which occurs between girls. Such aggression may occur in the context of what appear to be friendships. Such Relational aggression may involve domination, even sadism as the more powerful friend torments the weaker through threats of exclusion. Indirect aggression involves such actions as spreading rumors about others, even lies; as may social aggression which attacks self esteem or social status. Together these are characterized by Rachel Simmons in Odd Girl Out as alternative aggression. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggression [Jun 2004]

Aggression and eroticism

In the first Madonna piece Paglia astutely threw in an aside on the date rape furor, pouring scorn on the aphorism, No always means No. Unsurprisingly, she was soon commissioned by Newsday to write an article on the controversy, which appeared in January 91. College men are at their hormonal peak... A girl who lets herself get dead drunk at a fraternity party is a fool... Aggression and eroticism are deeply intertwined. The piece is reproduced in Sex, Art, and American Culture along with transcriptions of Paglia interviewed in the storm of controversy which followed her uncompromising piece.--Jane Szita

Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls (2003) - Rachel Simmons

Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls (2003) - Rachel Simmons [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

There is little sugar but lots of spice in journalist Rachel Simmons's brave and brilliant book that skewers the stereotype of girls as the kinder, gentler gender. Odd Girl Out begins with the premise that girls are socialized to be sweet with a double bind: they must value friendships; but they must not express the anger that might destroy them. Lacking cultural permission to acknowledge conflict, girls develop what Simmons calls "a hidden culture of silent and indirect aggression."

The author, who visited 30 schools and talked to 300 girls, catalogues chilling and heartbreaking acts of aggression, including the silent treatment, note-passing, glaring, gossiping, ganging up, fashion police, and being nice in private/mean in public. She decodes the vocabulary of these sneak attacks, explaining, for example, three ways to parse the meaning of "I'm fat."

Simmons is a gifted writer who is skilled at describing destructive patterns and prescribing clear-cut strategies for parents, teachers, and girls to resist them. "The heart of resistance is truth telling," advises Simmons. She guides readers to nurture emotional honesty in girls and to discover a language for public discussions of bullying. She offers innovative ideas for changing the dynamics of the classroom, sample dialogues for talking to daughters, and exercises for girls and their friends to explore and resolve messy feelings and conflicts head-on.

One intriguing chapter contrasts truth telling in white middle class, African-American, Latino, and working-class communities. Odd Girl Out is that rare book with the power to touch individual lives and transform the culture that constrains girls--and boys--from speaking the truth. --Barbara Mackoff, amazon.com

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