We all go through a different range of emotions every day. The expression of those emotions varies because of our gender, culture, and many other factors. Anger is one such emotion that plays a key role in our relationships.
According to the researches, the expression of anger is different among men and women because of gender socialization, and both of them encounter the feeling of shame because of their anger. Similarly, the anger management strategies in both the genders are distinct too. Some believe the cause for this is biological, while others think that it is because of the social perceptions.
The Difference in Anger Expression and Management
Men tend to express their anger physically. Acting out on anger is considered a part of their masculinity, especially a physical demonstration. They will not hesitate from confronting the individual who has made them angry.
On the other hand, women are discouraged from showing angry behaviors overtly, which is why they are expert in bottling up the anger inside of them. They are expected to stay calm and relaxed because of gender discrimination. They are not supposed to get involved in arguments because society believes it to be unfeminine. This leads to expression of anger in other ways such as gossiping, passive-aggressive activities, brooding, and many more. These behaviors may help in letting out of anger. However, they are highly destructive. This is because they are not solving the pressing issue or resolving conflict.
This way of coping with anger in females is effective to an extent. But if the situation calls for it, women do not back away from acting out on their emotions either. One of the studies also suggests that verbal expression of anger is greater in women as compared to men, but they are also good at resolving the issue by talking it out with the person.
With all these differences, a research depicts the only similarity between the two is the reduction in their anger, as they grow old. Male and female who fall in the age bracket of more than 50, experience anger less frequently. Nevertheless, male still have greater predisposition of this emotion.
A study took place in the Midwestern United States, in which males and females were asked not to show anger. In this study, women did not feel as unproductive as men did when they controlled their anger. The research also stated that women felt more influential when they selectively expressed their anger. This means that not getting angry has an impact on the performance of men, but not on women.
The Causes of Anger
Now that we have established the different means of letting anger out, what are things that cause anger? Among females, lack of power, careless people, and inequality are the major reasons behind their anger. Researches are still being carried out to uncover the sources behind anger of males.
According to a research by St John’s University, New York, men are more impulsive when dealing with anger and seek revenge, whereas women have the habit of staying angry for longer intervals and hold grudges by not communicating with that person again. This could be because they do not express their anger due to the social stigma, and let it built up. When it is constantly on their minds, they stay angry for longer.
Perception of Anger by Different Sexes
Along with the expression and management of anger, the perception of anger by both the sexes is different too. According to a research by Science Daily, expression of anger among presidential candidates who were women was considered less credible as compared to male applicants.
These behaviors are quite common in the professional environment, where the same emotion represents confidence and leadership in men and an attitude problem in women. It gets men a raise in their income and no such benefits for women. Likewise, if women are able to provide reasons for their anger, they are easily forgiven, unlike men.
The expectation of the society has a major impact on how the same emotion can be expressed, managed, and perceived differently by two sexes. We all make our life decisions based on these influences. When it comes to anger, letting it out in a healthy way is crucial for everyone, irrespective of their sex.
This will help them move on with their lives, and be less destructive for themselves as well as others. Anger is a human emotion, and not limited to a particular gender. If you are facing anger management issues, it is imperative to seek therapy.