Evolutionary Explanation For Aggression

9 AO1s and 16 AO2s. A* essay. Set out in table for easy memorising.

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  • Created on: 21-06-12 15:51
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Evolutionary Explanations For Aggression ­ Andrew F
AO1's AO2's
1 This essay will focus on reproductive
behaviour as an example of aggression.
Any evolutionary explanation must be
based on the idea that everyone has a
drive to pass on genes into the next
generation, an only the most adapted will.
This is natural selection
2 Humans are anisogametic, which means
that mean and women have different
gametes. Men make millions of sperm,
whereas women make relatively few ova.
3 This means that men seek to impregnate
as many women as possible and women
seek to carefully choose their partners.
This has implications for aggression.
4 Jealousy in men is advantageous as it
prevents their partners from being
unfaithful, which could lead to cuckoldry.
5 Cuckoldry is the state of being a cuckold a
man whose partner has been impregnated
by another man. This would mean the man
his wasting resources, therefore he needs
to ensure she remains faithful.
6 There are two aggressive mate retention
techniques. The first is direct guarding, in
which a man will physically guard his
partner from being impregnated by others.
7 The second is negative inducement, in 1 Wilson supports the existence of these
which the female is threatened against strategies. His questionnaire found that
mating with others. This is adaptive women who viewed their partners as
because if the woman is fearful of the sexually jealous were twice as likely to have
consequences of infidelity, she is less to experienced violence.
be impregnated by another.
2 However questionnaires are not necessarily
reliable because they suffer from demand
characteristics and social desirability.
3 Shackleton also linked mate retention and
violence. He surveyed 461 men and 560
women in committed relationships. Men
were asked about using mate retention
techniques and women were asked about
their partners mate retention techniques and
violence. There was a positive correlation
found between men who use direct guarding
and negative inducement and their use of
4 However the survey included `emotional
manipulation' as an aggressive act.
Although it is undoubtedly abuse, whether it
can be considered aggressive is debatable.

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Evolutionary Explanations For Aggression ­ Andrew F
5 Also, the research focuses exclusively on
heterosexual relationships. Ignoring a group
of people because they do not necessarily fit
the theory is poor science and makes the
research invalid.
6 Also, the research only gives a correlation.
Correlations are not causal and we cannot
be sure whether aggressive retention
techniques cause violence or vice versa.
7 Uxoricide is the most extreme form of 7 However this is a contradiction because it
negative inducement wife killing.…read more

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Evolutionary Explanations For Aggression ­ Andrew F
morally right.
15 Some state that it is reductionist to simply
state that `inherited genes control
behaviour', as it is in fact much more
complicated than that. It has been proven
that learning and social factors also affect
16 Evolution is not only caused by
naturalselection, it can also be down to
genetic drift. This is when particular versions
of genes are lost from the population by
chance.…read more


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