Evolutionary explanations for aggression

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Psychology unit 3 aggression
Evolutionary explanations for aggression
Description
Aggression is innate and adaptive as it helps animals survive and reproduce. There
is often competition for resources for survival and reproduction and aggression
helps with this competition. The aggressive male will often be seen as the most
suitable partner due to his ability to provide resources, making aggression
attractive. Aggression also enables an individual to drive away sexual rivals. As
aggression is innate, the aggressive male who is successful, therefore passes his
aggressive genes onto the next generation.
The Spriggs hypothesis human ancestors formed groups 25,000 years ago
on the African Savannah. These groups of hunter gatherers were dominated by the
strengths and stamina of the males. The hunting abilities would have also been
enhanced by aggression. The cultural habits which led to the social dominance of
the group would have been reinforced by the males using force over the females to
dominate distribution. Females adapted to this domination as it meant that they
gained resources for their children. This relationship of dominant male and
responsive female continued. This favoured the males who were aggressive.
Eventually this survival behaviour became embedded into genetic instructions.
Evaluation
/ The smuts evidence: Male chimpanzees use aggression to force females into
sex or prevent them from making sexual advances on other males. Other
primates show no such aggression such as Vervet monkeys. Females come together
into supportive groups to counteract this aggression. There is some evidence of
a parallel in human behaviour with a South American tribe called the Yanomamo.
Females form alliances and group together. The males are very aggressive and beat
women suspected of adultery and abduct females from other villages. The males
of the Aka tribe in Africa have never been observed as showing aggression
towards females.
This evidence only supports the competition and rivalry part of the
evolutionary explanation and part of the Spriggs Hypothesis, so we can't be
sure that all parts of the evolutionary explanation really occur and it could
be possible that aggression is influenced by non environmental factors as
well.
Evolutionary factors only apply to some humans and animals but not all of
them and evolution should apply to everything.

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