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Slide 1

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Evolutionary explanations
of human aggression:
`Infidelity & Jealousy '
·Cuckoldry & sexual Jealousy
·Mate retention and violence
·Uxorocide (wife-killing)…read more

Slide 2

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What is infidelity &
~a betrayal of trust or disloyal act in a relationship.
~mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry,
~resentment against a person enjoying success or advantage.
Daly & Wilson (1998) claim that men have evolved
different strategies to stop their female partners from
committing adultery. These range from watchfulness
(vigilance) to violence, and are fuelled by male jealousy -
an adaptation that has evolved specifically to deal with the
threat of paternal uncertainty.…read more

Slide 3

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Cuckoldry and sexual jealousy
· Unlike women, men can never be entirely certain that they are the
biological fathers of their children until recent DNA techniques became
available. As a result, men are always at risk of cuckoldry.
· Cuckoldry occurs when a woman deceives her male partner into
investing in offspring conceived with another man. The risks are high for
women, yet higher for men.
· The consequence of cuckoldry is that the man might unintentionally
invest his resources in offspring that are not his own.
· Therefore, the adaptive functions of sexual jealousy would have been to
deter a mate from sexual infidelity, thereby minimising the risk of
cuckoldry.…read more

Slide 4

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Mate retention
& violence
~Buss (1988) suggests that males have a
number of strategies that have evolved
specifically for the purpose of keeping a mate.
These include `direct guarding' of the female,
and `negative inducements' that would prevent
her from straying.
Direct Guarding:
· By directly guarding their partners, our male ancestors would have been able
to deter rivals from gaining access to their mates. A modern example of direct
guarding is `vigilance', e.g. Coming home unexpectedly so see what a female
partner is up to.
· Wilson et al. (1995) found that women who agreed with questionnaire items
such as `he is jealous and doesn't want you to talk with other men', were twice
as likely to have experienced serious violence from their partners, with 72%
of these having required medical attention following an assault from their
male partner.…read more

Slide 5

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Negative Inducements:
· Women who are perceived by their partner to be
threatening infidelity (e.g. by looking at another man),
are more at risk of violence than those who are not.
Studies of battered women, for example, have shown
that in the majority of cases, women state extreme
jealousy of their husbands or boyfriends as the cause.
~Shackelford et al. (2005) - surveyed 461 men and 560 women in the US. All
participants were in committed, heterosexual relationships.
· male p's answered questions about their use of mate retention techniques, and were
assessed on how often they performed each of 26 different types of violent act against
their partners.
· female p's answered questions concerning their partners' use of male retention
techniques and the degree to which their partners used violence against them.
· men's use of two broad types of retention technique (negative inducements and direct
guarding) was positively correlated with their violence scores.
· use of emotional manipulation (e.g. saying they would kill themselves if their partner left)
as a specific tactic appeared to consistently predict men's violence against women.
· Women reported that those partners who frequently used specific mate retention
techniques of vigilance and emotional manipulation were most likely to use violence
against them.…read more

Slide 6

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Uxorocide (wife-killing)
· Men can guard against their partners
infidelity either by granting benefits or
inflicting violence. As not all men can
provide benefits, some men are especially
prone to using violence.
· According to Daly & Wilson (1988), death
of a partner from physical violence may
be an unintended outcome of an
evolutionary adaptation that was
designed for control rather than death.…read more

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