Evolutionary explanations of human aggression

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  • Evolutionary explanations of human aggression
    • Jealousy
      • Daly & Wilson - different strategies to deter female partners from committing adultery
        • Range from vigilance to violence
      • Cuckoldry and sexual jealousy
        • Men can never be certain that they are the fathers.
          • Men always at risk of cuckoldry
            • Consequence - men might invest resources in offspring that are not his own
              • Adaptive function of sexual jealousy is to deter mate from infidelity.
      • Mate retention and violence
        • Buss – number of strategies e.g. restricting partner’s autonomy (direct guarding) and negative inducements
          • Form of violence or threats of violence
            • Sexual jealousy - primary cause of violence against women
              • Studies of battered women have shown the majority of cases, women cite extreme jealousy on the part of husband/boyfriend as key cause of violence – Dobash and Dobash.
      • Sexual jealousy and extreme violence
        • Men’s sexual jealousy is single most common motive for killing in domestic disputes in US – Daly
          • Dell et al – sexual jealousy accounted for 17% of all cases of murders in the UK
            • Men predominantly perpetrators and victims
              • Summary of 8 studies of same-sex killings involving love triangles.
                • 92% were male-male murders, 8% fem-fem murders.
      • Research support
        • Shackelford et al – study shows clear relationship between sexual jealousy, mate retention strategies by males and violence towards women
          • Buss and Shackelford – Men who suspected infidelity over the next year exacted greater punishment than those who didn’t
            • Findings consistent with evolutionary psychology
              • Mate retention strategies are in fact when particular adaptive problem is faced
      • Physiological basis of jealousy based aggression
        • Male sexual jealousy linked to aggression
          • Supp. by Takahishi – neural responses to imaged scenes of sexual infidelity and emotional jealousy elicited dif responses for men and women
            • Men showed greater activation in amygdala and hypothalamus (associated with aggression).
      • IDA – Gender Bias
        • Most studies focus on men’s mate retention strategies
          • Women also engage in retention strategies and sometimes behave violently towards their partner
            • Women initiate and carry out physical assault on partner as often as men do
              • Felson – 2060 murders in US – women twice as likely to murder out of jealousy as men
    • infidelity
      • Voluntary sexual relations between someone who is married and someone who isn’t the individual’s spouse
        • Detection or suspicion is key predictor of partner violence – Daly
          • Men are more likely to engage in extramarital affairs than women
            • 1 in 10 women admit to being unfaithful to their husbands
      • Sexual coercion (partner rape)
        • A consequence of men’s suspicion of wives’ sexual infidelity – Goetz
          • Camilleri – Sexual assault of female by mate was linked with perceived risk of her infidelity
            • Shields and Hanneke – female victims of partner rape were more likely to report engaging in extramarital sex
      • Violence towards pregnant partners
        • Sexual infidelity may lead to pregnancy.
          • Long-term mate risks investing in offspring of another male, lowering his own reproductive success.
            • Violence may be directed towards her to terminate the pregnancy thus eliminating offspring
              • Free to bear his offspring
      • Uxorocide (wife-killing)
        • Daly and Wilson – death of partner from physical violence could be unintended outcome of evolutionary adaptation designed for control rather than death
      • Research support
        • Link between infidelity and partner violence supp by findings that the risk of a partner’s infidelity predicts sexual coercion among males but not females – Camilleri
          • Significant because males are at risk of cuckoldry – Camilleri and Quinsey
            • Men convicted of raping their partners more likely to have experienced cuckoldry risks prior to their offence compared to men convicted of non sexual partner abuse
      • Violence towards pregnant partners
        • Burch and Gallup – frequency of violence towards pregnant mates was roughly doubled to those who aren’t pregnant
          • Taillieu and Brownridge – women abused while pregnant more likely to be carrying kid of man other than current mate
            • Nicaguaran study – half of examples of pregnant women physically abused suffered blows directed at abdomen specifically designed to increase likelihood of aborting the fetus – Valladares
      • Limitations of evolutionary exp
        • Evolutionary perspective doesn’t explain why people react in dif ways when faced with same adaptive problem
          • Buss and Shackelford – Can’t account for why dif males respond differently when faced with partner infidelity – some turn resort to aggressive mate retention strategies, some to murder, some get drunk

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