The myth of female passivity: Thirty years of revelations about female aggression

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55 Scopus citations


This article reviews an extensive program of research that has examined gender differences in aggressive behavior. Early research in the aggression laboratory that was designed to explain why females were nonaggressive actually revealed that females did respond to provocation and that they could not accurately be depicted as passive individuals. Subsequent studies that examined both indirect and direct aggression revealed that women were at least as likely as men to employ indirect aggressive strategies and that the nature of relationship is a better determinant of aggressive action than gender. Directly relevant to the theme of this volume, the later research revealed that males and females reported equally high levels of direct aggression in interaction with romantic partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-247
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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