We have all witnessed an act of aggression at some point. Whether in real life, on television or even through a novel, violence is an element that continues to be part of our society even today. But we often make the mistake of identifying assault with physical attack.
While it is obvious that an act of intentional physical violence aimed at harming others is aggression, other types of acts can also be observed which can be considered as such. We are talking about different types of aggression, Which we will talk about throughout this article.
- Related article: “The Neurological Basis of Aggressive Behavior”
Aggression: understanding the basic concept
In order to understand the existence of differences between the different types of aggression, it is first necessary to know what this concept refers to and what implications it has.
We understand as an assault to all this act of violence characterized by intentional harm to a person is said to be a direct or indirect act. Although, as we have stated before, it is traditionally associated with physical violence, aggression does not have to be limited to it or it is even possible that there is no physical element in it. the act of aggression.
The damage can be physical, psychological, sexual, material or symbolic and can have a number of serious effects on the health or integrity of the victim.
It is possible to find a large number of classifications regarding the different types of aggression. Examples of this are depending on their nature, purpose or victim.
1. Type of aggression according to its nature
There are several ways to classify the different types of assault that exist. One of the most common is one that takes into account the nature of the assault. In turn, these can be classified into two large groups, although in general the categories are not completely mutually exclusive.
1.1. direct assault
Direct assault is any type of assault that is carried out in a way that is noticeable by the attacked person, whether on a physical or psychological level. This includes both the direct exercise of aggression and the threat to execute it, requiring at least one aggressor and one aggressor in this relationship. The victim is perfectly able to identify his attacker. Beginning in adolescence, it tends to be more common in men.
1.2. physical assault
Any act that involves the willful and intentional cause of direct damage generated by any physical means and with the capacity to cause bodily harm to the person attacked. Injuries caused can be temporary or permanent and appear both short and long term, with consequences that can even be fatal. Physical aggression tends to be more associated with men.
1.3. Verbal / psychological aggression
It is understood as such to all this set of acts and actions that, although they do not generate damage at the physical level, they cause or attempt to cause the person who is subjected to the assault. some kind of mental or emotional damage. This includes insults, harassment and demeaning. In this sense, this type of direct violence is generally more distributed between the sexes. Statistically, it is one of the most practiced by women.
1.4. sexual assault
A type of assault in which the abuser forces or forces the attacked party to maintain some type of sexual contact (with or without penetration) or denies them the freedom to decide. This includes both rapes and beatings, Pushing or removing condom without consent / knowledge of the facts. Although cases of women have increased in recent years, most sex offenders are men.
1.5. indirect assault
It is understood as indirect aggression to all that act of aggression which is carried out indirectly, causing damage and injury to the victim anonymously (although he can recognize the aggressor). This type of attack is more and more prevalent and is more common in women from adolescence, both academically and professionally. This includes the spread of rumors and slander, Anonymous or posting of harassing and ridiculous websites and messages.
1.6. relational aggression
Form of indirect aggression based on social exclusion caused by the attacked person, or on the cause of damage to his reputation by slander. It is usually verbal or psychological.
1.7. cyber aggression
Although it can be included in some of the above groups (both indirect and direct), the main distinguishing feature of cyber aggression is that information and communication technologies are used for this purpose. . We can find there attacks on social networks, identity theft, coercion, theft of accounts, defamatory publications, non-consensual recordings (including that of possible assaults perpetrated with the victim), etc.
1.8. asset assault
This type of aggression is based on the destruction or damage to the property of the person attacked. Theft or theft can also be observed. It may or may not be aimed at harming the attacked subject, especially if the goods have great emotional value or if it took a lot of effort to obtain them. In fact, it can be both indirect and direct (since destruction may or may not occur covertly).
1.9. symbolic aggression
Type of indirect aggression characterized by the fact that the attack is not carried out directly on the victim, but on the elements that symbolize aspects related to it like religion, politics, sexual orientation or nationality.
2. Depending on your goal
In addition to the main attacks mentioned above, we can also find other types of attacks depending on the objective they pursue.
2.1. hostile aggression
This type of aggression refers to all those actions aimed primarily at inflicting some kind of harm on a person, so that damage is the main target of the abuser.
2.2. instrumental aggression
On this occasion, the aggressive act is not intended to harm the person attacked, not to feel the pain or discomfort wanted by the otherBut what motivates the attack is to get some sort of gain or benefit from that attack. An example could be economic gain, social approval or the acquisition of a position of domination and power.
2.3. induced aggression
It is a type of aggressive act in which the aggressor it acts displaced by other people or by factors such as fear or the attempt to escape a very aversive situation.
3. Depending on the victim
They may also observe different types of assault depending on the person to whom the act of violence is directed.
3.1. self-inflicted assault
It is called as such this whole act of aggression in which the victim is the same person who provokes the aggression. In other words, it is an attack on oneself that can be motivated by a large number of causes. Self-harm may be included caused by people with different pathologies or suicidal.
3.2. interpersonal aggression
This is the most classic and well-known type of assault, in which one person willfully inflicts damage on another.
3.3. collective aggression
Type of aggression characterized by being carried out intergroup, attacking from one group to another. The target of aggression it can be variable, in many cases there is hatred, stigma and tries to eliminate the other group. In this type of aggression, we could include events as serious as genocides.
4. Depending on the context in which it occurs
Another possible classification of assaults may come from the context in which they occur. In this sense, we can find between others the following
4.1. Intra-family and couple aggression
This type of interpersonal aggression can be separated from the rest by the fact that it has the particularity of producing within the same family or between people who in principle maintain an emotional bond. Domestic violence can take many forms, being mainly of the direct type either at the level of physical, psychological or even sexual assault.
4.2. Aggression in the workplace
All this act of aggression produced in the course of work. One can include the presence of physical, verbal or even sexual assaults between employees of the same rank or those which occur by taking advantage of the difference in rank and position within the company.
4.3. School assault
On this occasion, we evoke the acts of aggression committed in the academic field between students or between students and professors. We can observe among others the presence of bullying.