Explain one psychological or social question from the Biological perspective

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Biological perspective

4. a)Explain one psychological or social question from the Biological perspective


  • Due to nature of biological perspective, Biological theorists suggest that aggression is caused by a combination of genetic predisposition, physiological abnormality or evolutionary characteristic.
  • Evidence that aggression is the manifestation of a genetic or chemical influence comes from various studies investigating its cause.

Neurological Explanation

  • Studies have shown that the presence or absence of certain brain chemicals/neurotransmitters/hormones could possible be the cause/reason of abnormal levels of aggression.
  • This theory explains why men are naturally more aggressive than women. One study investigating the relationship between high levels of testosterone in men and criminal records found a high correlation between the two.
  • Further evidence, male animals that have been castrated (cannot produce male hormones) showed deceased levels of aggression/violence and fought less.
  • Female aggression also linked with abnormal hormone balance. Floody reviewed research on PMS and found evidence that supports this view – during periods of hormonal fluctuation women are more hostile, agitated and are more likely to commit a crime.
  • Also low levels of serotonin have been linked with increased aggression levels. Studies have shown that people with history of crime have been linked with particularly low levels of this neurotransmitter. Also, a study showed that people with low levels of it have a reduced ability to control aggressive impulses. In addition it has been used as an effective pharmacological treatment in combating those who suffer form erratic aggression.
  • Third reason (abnormal brain structure and anatomy) have been linked as possible causes of aggression. Researchers have found significant differences in brain structure of mass murderers (reduced activity on both sides of amygadala and pre-frontal cortex)
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  • Common problem with any attempt to explain any psychological behaviour using physiological causes – its too difficult to distinguish whether he differences are causes or symptoms of the aggression.

Genetic Explanation

These views of genetic essentialism claim that not only are physical characteristics determined by genetics, but also social rules, behaviours and relationships have also a biological-genetic basis. (Kegley)

  • There is growing evidence that suggests that biological factors can predispose aggression. Jacobs et al found men in prison had abnormal sex chromosone XYY ( an extra Y), from this he developed theory that the extra Y ...

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