Using an evolutionary perspective to understand the relationship between physical aggression and academic performance in late adolescents

ABSTRACT

In this study, we applied an evolutionary perspective to analyze the rela-
tionship between aggressiveness, academic performance, and sociality in a
population of 528 adolescents of both sexes. In men, we expect physical
aggression (PA) and sociality to be negative predictors of academic perfor-
mance. However, in women, PA would be a negative predictor of academic
performance, and sociality a positive one. Our results report a negative
association between academic performance and PA in both sexes. As we
expected, social effect derived from the use of PA seems to be different for
each sex, where men could display a rebellious attitude to increase chances
of finding a mate. In contrast, results for women are not conclusive, because
no relationship between academic performance and any aggressive
mechanism, were predicted by sociality. We conclude that an evolutionary
framework, which includes sex-specific hypotheses, is appropriate to obtain
a holistic perspective of this phenomenon.