Effects of masculine identity and gender role stress on aggression in men
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Predominant theories posit that the association between masculine identity and aggression is moderated by the degree to which a man experiences cognitive stress when adhering to masculine norms; referred to as gender role stress. This study sought to examine whether masculine identity predicts aggressive behavior (under laboratory conditions) and whether this relationship is moderated by gender role stress. Seventy-five undergraduate males participated in a competitive reaction-time task whereby they were given the choice to shock or refrain from shocking an ‘ostensible’ opponent. Analyses revealed a significant moderating effect of gender role stress on the relationship between identity and aggression as well as significant main effects for identity and gender role stress. Findings are discussed as having implications for understanding the influence of intra-individual factors in the initiation and maintenance of aggressive behavior as well as the contribution of gender role socialization to understanding aggression.