1. Men are the major perpetrators of violent crime. Paradoxically, men are also the major victims of violent crime. Research shows that persistent violent offending is often correlated with minor brain damage or certain psychological abnormalities, particularly psychopathy.
2. Neither gender is innately predisposed to violence – social environment is key. There is no conclusive evidence that men and women differ in their innate biological or psychological propensity for violence.
3. The fact that men commit the majority of violent acts may instead be understood as arising mainly from the social environment. In many instances, boys will have been socialized for violence by being taught that being a man means being tough, powerful, intimidating, and a stud.
4. While constructions of masculinity differ widely both within and between countries, it seems clear that some constructions of masculinity (in US, “liberal” men are mocked as being effeminate by “conservative” men) increase the chances of boys growing up to become violent men.
5. So parents who are raising boys have a unique responsibility to ensure that their boys grow up believing that being a man can also mean being gentle, nurturing and empathic. Of course, this can be problematic to achieve in reality.
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