Homestead Size, Gender, and Aggression among Gusii Children

Robert L. Munroe, Sara B. Nerlove, Vivian Choi, Gina Keppel, Amber Richert, Carley Richmond, Graham Smith, Claire Townsend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Behavioral aggression in natural settings was investigated in relation to gender and homestead membership size among 43 Gusii children between the ages of four and eight. No differences were found in the frequency of boys' and girls' aggression, an outcome already observed in the same community of "Nyansongo" during the Six Cultures Study a decade earlier. An association between children's aggression and the number of persons with whom they resided ("homestead size") was interpreted as follows: (a) cross-culturally, large social groups punish child aggression, apparently due to the potential disruptiveness of aggression in crowded quarters; (b) punitive treatment of aggression tends not to control aggressivity but, rather, to breed it; and, as predicted, (c) children from the larger homesteads exhibited a higher frequency of aggression. As with the gender out-come, the homestead-size/aggression findings were elucidated by aspects of the coverage provided by the earlier Six Cultures Study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-247
Number of pages16
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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