Aggression in Sport

Aggression in Sport - Aggression in Sport Kayla Cilenti 12...

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Aggression in Sport Kayla Cilenti November 23, 2009 12 MWF
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Cilenti Aggression within an individual has always been something that has intrigued American culture. Aggression is mostly accepted within sport or exercise. However, this paper is going to discuss the causes of athlete aggression and how aggression affects an athlete’s everyday life. The focus will be on the various types of sport and how aggression is different in collision, contact and non contact sports. The various genders have different norms from society. A debate on how aggression is perceived continues to go on. The purpose of this paper is to determine where aggression in an athlete comes. There are many views on why a person is aggressive. There are two types of athlete aggression; hostile aggression and instrumental aggression. Both types of aggression there is the intent to harm a targeted person either physically and/or psychologically (Loughead & Leith, 2001). The objective of instrumental aggression is to achieve a specific goal. For example, in a soccer game when two players go up for a header and the two players bang heads in the process that is instrumental aggression. There is no intentional harm; the players are just trying to win the head ball. On the other hand, hostile aggression, there is deliberate pain imposed on another individual physically or psychologically. Case in point, when that player is stepping up to the ball they trip the other player; that would be defined as hostile aggression. There are thought to be two theories in aggression. The first theory supports that aggression in sport reduces aggression in the players. The other theory supports that aggression among athletes is higher because aggression is learned. Since there has not been names given to these two theories when referenced it will be referred as theory one and two respectively. In theory one, “aggression is thought to be instinctive, our society is predisposed to aggressive behaviors, then we can suggest that sport may serve as catharsis” (Suinn, 1980 pg. 126). It has 2
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Cilenti been a culture norm in our society to accept and encourage males to be more aggressive and play a more dominant role verses a female. This custom has been established because in the early development of animals and man aggressive behavior was necessary in order to provide food, shelter, and protection (Suinn, 1980 pg. 126). For instance, the Indians, slaves, kings and military figures at the beginning of the growth of America were aggressive in fighting for what they thought was rightfully theirs, whether that was land or food (Suinn, 1980 pg. 126). Aggression continues to increase in our society; however ways to properly channel that aggression has decrease tremendously. Sports and competitive games have been and go on to be “an acceptable way to outlet the instinctive aggressive behavior,” (Suinn, 1980). It is believed that through sports and competitive games participants can release stress and tensions from
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Aggression in Sport - Aggression in Sport Kayla Cilenti 12...

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