Aggressive and Erotic Tendencies in Army Life

TitleAggressive and Erotic Tendencies in Army Life
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1946
AuthorsElkin, Henry
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Date Published03/1946

Military life required the soldier to alter his values and self-image and imposed new restraints and occasions for release. The soldier felt depreciated by the G.I. image and Army restraints and asserted himself by negativism, as in "griping," and by aggression against foreigners as scapegoats. Military life also stimulated the release of tensions repressed from childhood. Drinking profanity, and concern with sex relieved the anxieties created by the ideal of virility. Undifferentiated and homosexual erotic tendencies revealed by speech and behavior must find socially approved release. Hence the soldier's egocentric disposition to women as means of gratifying self-respect and primitive sensual impulses.

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