Nevertheless, there has been supporting research conducted into humans which shows the effect of hormones on aggression. Kreuz and Rose conducted research into males and found that there were higher levels of testosterone in criminals with violent behaviour than those without a record of violence. This suggestion of testosterone on aggressive behaviour is being reinforced with humans which proves that increased levels of hormones can increase aggression, supporting the biological approach.
However, many studies into hormones can be criticised for being androcentric as the majority of the research into hormones focusses on testosterone in which only males have. Therefore, research cannot be generalised to females and cannot explain why some females show aggressive behaviour.
But, supporting research into females has been conducted by Floody. They found in the week of menstruation women’s androgens increase, correlating with increased hostility and likelihood of committing crimes which proves a hormonal explanation to female’s aggressive behaviour.
In addition, R v Smith’ murder charge was changed to manslaughter due to the defendant being in her menstruation cycle suggesting that the increase of androgens caused the defendant to be aggressive. This research provides a clear explanation to why females become aggressive and provides evidence for the biological approach.
Aside from hormonal factors to aggression there are neural factors as suggested in the biological approach.
Research into the amygdala has provided strong evidence for aggression. Raine et al compared PET scans of murders and non-murders and found that murderers had lower levels of activity in the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. In which they concluded could be a significant amount in which would make them kill.
Research by Raine was very well controlled as variables such as gender, age, mental illness and drug taking which makes results more reliable.
However, the study lacked methodological issues as there was no control on the level of violence within the participants which means results may only explain some types of violence and not others. In addition, the evidence was only correlational and therefore a cause and effect cannot be established which means we cannot be sure this behaviour is purely biological.
In contrast, supporting research by Blair et al supports the idea that the amygdala can be a cause of aggression. Blair suggested that damage to the amygdala may be the reason for psychopaths. This is because the amygdala is responsible for recognising emotion in others and if it’s not functioning, it may be the cause of people harming others and feeling no remorse for it.
In addition, brain injury can be a cause to why some people are aggressive. Phineas Gage was a quiet, hard-working man but he tuned very negative and aggressive as a result of a brain injury.
But, this case study is only one individual and therefore we cannot generalise findings from Gage to the whole population of the world as individuals react differently to certain situations. In addition, this study relied on medical evidence; Gage’ injury was so complex to be able to identify what was the cause of his aggression which means the study lacks validity as nobody is sure what caused his aggression. Also the evidence was relied upon by his doctor which may be biased which also reduced the validity of the findings.
Overall the approach is deterministic because it fails to consider the free will of people and events that may have happened which may cause them to be more aggressive.
The whole approach is also reductionistic. The approach only considers the biological aspect to aggression and doesn’t consider other approaches such as social which could be a main cause of aggression.
Additionally, the biological approach only focusses on the nature of aggression and fails to consider other factors as the approach suffers from imposed etic which assumes all cultures are the same. However, research by Deaux suggests that there are cultural differences in aggression and some societies do not display aggression. Therefore this behaviour is not purely biologically developed otherwise we would all show aggression.
In conclusion, there is strong evidence for the biological approach and the causes of aggression but overall it doesn’t consider any other approaches which may be more important. For instance, social psychological theories. Bandura’s social learning theory suggests that aggression is caused not only by inherited factors but also environmental factors such as reproduction which is copying (aggressive) behaviour you have witnessed. As shown the biological approach is reductionistic and doesn’t take into account any other reasons for aggression and therefore biological approach is not purely the reason for aggression.