Research comparing boys' and girls' aggression has typically focused on the overall amount of aggression using a within‐sex design. Less attention has been given to differences in children's aggression according to the sex of the target. In the research reported here, boys' and girls' amount and style of aggression were compared for same‐ and cross‐sex targets. A peer estimation procedure was used with children in Grades 2, 6, 9, and 11. Physical, verbal, and indirect aggression were studied. Although there were some differences according to Grade level, both the amount and style of aggression for boys and for girls differed as a function of the sex of target, with cross‐sex aggression generally falling between the amount and style of boys ‐to‐boys and girls‐to‐girls aggression. The results draw attention to the possible separate nature of the cross‐sex context, and highlight the importance of taking into account the target of aggression when investigating differences in aggression between boys and girls.
- Peer estimates