Outline and evaluate neural and hormonal mechanisms in aggression.
There are two main biological explanations to aggression, neural and hormonal. The neural explanation is the serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters and how they affect our aggression; the hormonal mechanisms are the testosterone and cortisol chemicals. Testosterone is a hormone that is more concentrated in men than in women as it is a male sex hormone, it is thought to influence aggression from a young age onwards, due to its actions on the brain areas involved in controlling aggression. One research study that was done on testosterone involved measuring the testosterone found in the saliva of violent and non-violent criminals. This study was concluded by Dabbs et al…show more content… He demonstrates that in monogamous species male testosterone levels should only rise above the baseline breading level in response to social challenges, such as male-male aggression or threats to status. Since we are a monogamous species we can predict that male testosterone levels would rise sharply in response to such challenges. Therefore if a testosterone surge is expected to be found when males are challenge then we can expect a consequent increase in aggression, provided the threat is deemed relevant to reproductive competition (a dispute over women). Since this study is based on all monogamous species as a whole, one could question whether or not it can be extrapolated to the human race, as we would be comparing ourselves to animals like monkeys, when we know that we are more superior to them. However it does show that monogamous males are more likely to act aggressively when facing a threat to their reproduction, this aggression seems to be coming from the increase of testosterone which happens because of the confrontation. Another problem with this hypothesis is that in modern day some men aren’t always monogamous, especially younger men, so if this theory were true single men would have no reason to become aggressive, which Lindman proves wrong with his study, therefore the theory is outdated and no longer applies to most men.
Another hormonal mechanism that is seen to have a link to aggression is cortisol as it appears to have a