Is the male or female brain more vulnerable to triggers of violent behavior?

February 5, 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
©2014 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Human behaviors such as violence depend on interactions in the brain between genetic and environmental factors. An individual may be more vulnerable to developing violent behaviors if they have predisposing factors and are then exposed to stress, abuse, or other triggers, especially early in life. The latest research on how differences between the male and female brain contribute to sex differences in violence is explored in Violence and Gender.

The article "Not Hardwired: The Complex Neurobiology of Sex Differences in Violence" describes the complex and flexible biological mechanisms in the brain that lead to the development of behaviors. These include interconnected neural networks, multiple genes, and chemical signals such as hormones and neurotransmitters, which can be modified by . Brain structure, function, and connectivity can all differ between men and women, affecting how they may change on exposure to stressful or abusive triggers.

"Neurobiologist Dr. Debra Niehoff explains the amazing interaction of how our brains, genetics, and environmental influences can interact and serve as the genesis for ," says Editor-in-Chief of Violence and Gender Mary Ellen O'Toole, PhD, Forensic Behavioral Consultant, and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigator Analyst (ret.). "This holistic view of the origin of means that reducing violence will not be a simple fix because it does not have a single origin or cause. The temptation to delineate a male and female brain must be resisted because there is overlap between the two. With more research will come greater insight and knowledge about the biological and environmental causes of violence. With more knowledge will come answers; answers will lead to solutions, and with solutions will come prevention."

Explore further: Study finds link between alcohol use and domestic violence

Related Stories

Study finds link between alcohol use and domestic violence

January 27, 2014
Alcohol use is more likely than marijuana use to lead to violence between partners, according to studies done at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Prescription drugs a 'tipping point' for dating violence among urban youth

January 10, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—A new University of Michigan Injury Center study recently found a link between misuse of prescription drugs and physical violence among dating partners.

Link found between intimate partner violence and termination of pregnancy

January 7, 2014
Intimate partner violence in women (sometimes referred to as domestic violence) is linked to termination of pregnancy, according to a study by UK researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine. The study, led by Susan ...

Study looks at the impact of violence on children

February 13, 2013
It's not how much violence a child is exposed to that can create emotional and behavioral problems in life. It's exposure to a variety of different types of violence.

Partner violence linked to specific drinking environments

September 23, 2013
Researchers have long known that violence toward spouses and partners increases with the frequency and volume of drinking. A study published today in the scientific journal Addiction shows that the context in which drinking ...

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.