Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Campbell: Staying alive

The origins of aggression sex differences: Evolved dispositions versus social roles

Alice H. Eagly a1 and Wendy Wood a2
a1 Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208
a2 Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843


The ultimate causes of sex differences in human aggressive behavior can lie mainly in evolved, inherited mechanisms that differ by sex or mainly in the differing placement of women and men in the social structure. The present commentary contrasts Campbell's evolutionary interpretation of aggression sex differences with a social structural interpretation that encompasses a wider range of phenomena.