It’s a question we’ve asked over and over due to the simple fact that the female body is idolized as this sort of beautiful temple, the defilement of which can lead to a family’s “dishonor.” Mothers don’t kill their male offspring for sleeping around, marrying the wrong person, or looking at someone the wrong way. Honor killings always target young girls and women. That’s not to say that men can’t dishonor the family — it’s just that they become social outcasts for doing so, which is somewhat of a disproportionate punishment.
So why are men more violent than women?
Men are responsible for the vast majority of violent crimes, including murder and rape. This is true in every country on earth. Researchers believe that male aggression stems from various biological and environmental factors that are difficult to pin down.
Many people believe that the hormone testosterone is to blame — but studies are inconclusive and many contradict one another. Some men display aggression in conjunction with a boost in testosterone. Other men display affection in conjunction with a boost in testosterone!
Many researchers believe the more important factor in aggressive behavior is the concept of male masculine behavior. Men are taught that traditionally masculine behavior — including overt aggression — are dominant traits to which people are attracted. This is why the term “fragile masculinity” was coined for those men who experience a “challenge” to their manhood and respond with aggression.
Researchers also point to a connection between patterns of male violence and beliefs in gender roles. Other men who seem predisposed to acts of violence and aggression display signs of anti-social personality disorder (ASPD).
These are the reasons why many experts who study biological differences between men and women advocate for a “gentler” society where we don’t promote traditional masculinity as something to be desired. For example, a mother or father telling a son that “boys don’t cry” would not be acceptable in a new paradigm.
We can very easily see similar connections between male violence and gender roles when trying to understand the underlying causes of honor killings.