Describe the type of aggression or violence DQ 3

Describe the type of aggression or violence DQ 3

Describe the type of aggression or violence DQ 3

For this discussion topic, I am going to identify the violence and aggression used by an adult on an eight-year-old boy. There is a Netflix series about this story called The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez. Please use discretion if you choose to watch it because it’s truly devastating in every way manageable. The types of aggression used by Isauro Aguirre were both proactive and reactive aggression. Proactive aggression is “behavior whereby harm is inflicted as a means to a desired end” and reactive is “harm that is inflicted for its own sake” (Markus et al., 2020, pg. 462). It seemed Isauro had a goal in mind to torture Gabriel daily and possibly did it out of anger that he thought Gabriel was “gay”. Isauro inflicted so much torture (while the mother watched) over the span of eight months that when Gabriel’s mother finally called 911 it was too late. On “May 24, 2013, Paramedics found Gabriel naked and not breathing, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin” (Villarreal & Brennan, 2020, para 4).

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Another form of aggression that was used was bullying, which “involves intentional harm (physically or psychologically) repetition (the victim is targeted a number of times), and a power imbalance (bullies abuse their power over the victim)” (Markus et al., 2020, pg. 466). It was clear the mother’s boyfriend, 6’ 2”, 270 pounds, was much bigger and a lot stronger than an eight-year-old child. He had his way with him when he saw fit. And even went as far as calling “Gabriel gay, punished him when he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls’ clothes to school” (Villarreal & Brennan, 2020, para 10).

Describe what the underlying message is about human nature.
The underlying message I see here is people should really not have kids if they don’t have it in them to raise them and treat them properly. Children aren’t just a welfare check or someone to torture, bully and inflict pain on for no reason. This type of behavior makes me lose faith in people and child welfare services. This case and every other child’s like it, is a message to only have children if you’re really willing to put in the effort to raise them, and to be in a job that you truly care about and will pay attention when innocent lives are at stake.

How you think this kind of example impacts a person’s attitudes and feelings toward others and society.
The behavior by Gabriel’s “guardians” possibly caused hate, sadness, distrust, and fear towards others. At the same time, he was described as being kind and loved helping others. Even through the hate and pain that was brought upon him, he didn’t show vengeance. This very easily could have gone the other direction, and he could’ve executed behavior against others through what was done to him.

How you think filling media with these kinds of examples contributes to an overall reaction and attitude that increases distrust, insecurity, wariness of others.
For this case, media has helped put awareness out there to watch for signs and pay attention more. This has hopefully also increased awareness within child protective services programs to spend more money and time on training employees and hiring the best ones for the job. We live in a society where media can very easily influence and manipulate negatively or positively. During this case, media pointed out the distrust we have in some humans and in child protective services. The fact his teacher didn’t know who else to call because nothing was being done by the cops or child protective services can leave one feeling helpless. The rest of us watching can only learn and be better so God-awful situations like this can decline.


Markus, S.K.S.F.H.R. (2020). Social Psychology. [MBS Direct]. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.).

Villarreal, Y., & Brennan, M. (2020, February 26). Netflix’s ’The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez’ as it unfolded: Read our coverage. Los Angeles Times. (Links to an external site.).

Helen Altman

Manage Discussion Entry

1) Describe the type of aggression or violence:

I think that movies and television shows glorify violence in many different ways. For example, in Slumdog Millionaire, Salim and Jamal are orphaned at an early age when the religious violence kills their mother. Salim takes care of Jamal as the grow up, and eventually kills himself after he fills a bathtub with money and shoots the crime boss. He sacrificed himself for his brother to be happy. In television shows, Special Victims Unit has a little different theme, but still shows agression and violence because it deals with people killing other people, sometimes over nothing and then they try and get away with it. It has some powerful messages, but in the end, the people end of up getting caught. I am not sure you can do this in real life in an hour.

2) Describe what the underlying message is about human nature

I think the underlying message about human nature is what the book mentions. Between families, the value to help is important, but people may stop helping at a point. In the move, Salim put his brothers happiness before his own and it was something that made him do what he did. In SVU, the need to help is one the detectives do as a normal part of the job. I think the issue has to be looked at like why did they become police officers.

3) How you think this kind of example impacts a person’s attitudes and feelings toward others and society Describe the type of aggression or violence DQ 3

With regards to Slumdog Millionaire, it shows that Salim thought about what he was doing. He helped the girl escape and did it for his brother. He put his brothers needs above his own, at the cost of his own life. In SVU, it shows that when people lose self control, they commit the worse kinds of violence.

4) How you think filling media with these kinds of examples contributes to an overall reaction and attitude that increases distrust, insecurity, wariness of others

I think that media wants ratings and they will go to any lengths to get them. The problem that I see is that we become habituated to the violence and it desensitizes us to what is going on in the world. I also think it might lead to people trying to outsmart the police and getting away with crimes.


Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2020). Social Psychology (MindTap Course List) (11th ed.). Cengage Learning.

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