The Psychobiology of Female Aggression

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38 Scopus citations


Previous studies on the biology of human aggression have focused largely on the contribution of sex hormones to male aggression. Studies of female aggression are few; they typically extrapolate from studies of male aggression and neglect the dynamic interaction between environment and biology. Behavioral responses are influenced by the gestational biological environment and biochemical fluctuations that occur later. Differences in brain function between males and females result, in part, from these biochemical influences and may contribute to differential aggressive responses. This biological template for behavior interacts with the physical and social environment in both males and females to determine aggressive responses. Thus the present review suggests that pre- or postnatal biological experiences, combined with a socially disadvantageous environment, predispose certain women to antisocial behavior. Once the relative contributions of these conditions are examined and confirmed, strategies for prevention, early detection, and treatment may more specifically target an appropriate female subgroup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-126
Number of pages28
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Psychology
  • Law


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