Cultural and sex differences in aggression : a comparison between Spanish, Japanese and South African students

Graetz, Lynda Janette (2001-03)

Thesis (MA)- University of Stellenbosch, 2001.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The primary aim of the study was to investigate cultural and sex differences on different dimensions of aggression as measured by the Expagg Questionnaire (Expagg) and the Aggression Questionnaire (AQ). Both inventories were administered to a sample (N=910) of students from Spain, Japan and South Africa. The results indicated that culture is indeed more predictive of aggression than sex. As expected, the study also revealed that it's influence is not uniform on all the dimensions of aggression investigated. The South African sample revealed the only significant sex difference on the Expagg. The males showed more distinct instrumental representations of aggression than the females, where aggression is seen as a means to reach a desired goal and thus as an effort to gain control. Inter-culturally the main finding was that the South African males and females held predominantly more expressive representations of aggression compared with the other cultures. This indicates that aggression is viewed as an expression of negative feelings and thus as a loss of control. On the Aggression Questionnaire only the South African and Spanish males reported more physical aggression than the females. Cross-culturally the most distinct finding was the overall lower levels of self-reported aggression of the South African females. A discussion of these significant results addressed social, cultural and political factors which may account for the differences. The study provided the prospect of an enhanced cross-cultural understanding of aggression.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die primêre doel van die studie was om kulturele en geslagsverskille te bepaal ten opsigte van verskillende dimensies van aggressie soos gemeet deur die Expagg Questionnaire (Expagg) en die Aggression Questionnaire (AQ). Die vraelyste is op 'n groep (N=910) studente van Spanje, Japan en Suid Afrika toegepas. Die resultate het getoon dat kultuur inderdaad 'n beter voorspeller van aggressie is as geslag. Die resultate het, soos verwag, aangedui dat die invloed van kultuur nie eenvormig inwerk op alle dimensies van aggressie nie. Die Suid-Afrikaanse groep het die enigste beduidende geslagsverskille getoon op die Expagg. Die mans se laer Espagg-tellings dui op instrumentele oortuigings ten opsigte van aggressie~ Aggressie word dus beskou as 'n poging om 'n verlangde doelwit te bereik en word ervaar as 'n poging om kontrole te verkry. Die vernaamste kruis-kulturele bevinding was dat die Suid-Afrikaanse groep beduidend hoër tellings as die ander kulture op die Expagg behaal het. Dit dui op ekspressiewe oortuigings ten opsigte van aggressie waar aggressie beskou word as die uitdrukking van negatiewe gevoelens en as 'n verlies van kontrole. Die Suid-Afrikaanse en Spaanse mans het hoër vlakke van fisiese aggressie as die vrouens op die Aggression Questionnaire behaal. Die mees uitstaande bevinding by die kruis-kulturele vergelyking was die algehele laer vlakke van selfgerapporteerde aggressie by die Suid-Afrikaanse vrouens. Die beduidende resultate is aan hand van sosiale, kulturele en politieke faktore bespreek. Die studie het In bydrae gelewer tot In beter kruis-kulturele begrip van aggressie.

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