Explanations For Group Aggression

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  • Created on: 21-06-12 15:54
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Explanations For Group Aggression ­ Andrew F
AO1's AO2's
1 This essay will discuss the evolutionary
explanation of group displays of
aggression in humans, focussing on sport
and warfare. The evolutionary explanation
states that men need to mate with as many
women as possible to ensure their genes
pass to the next generation. This means
that they must compete.
2 Men compete for territory, primarily
because this contains resources which will
ensure their survival.
3 However, an equally important aspect of
gaining territory is that it attracts females
who are looking for a mate with the best
resources. Therefore having a large
territory will make the individual more
attractive and females will be more likely to
mate with him.
4 At first, it may seem that natural selection 1 Evidence for group aggression comes from
would suggest that all men should be at a study of the Yanamamo tribe. The study
direct competition with each other. found that the tribe were obsessed with their
However it has been suggested that our village size, forming alliances with other
male ancestors teamed up with close villages to fight together, increasing
genetic relatives, meaning that the `family likelihood of success. This success brought
genes' will have a greater chance of a high status in the tribe as well as greater
getting to the next generation. This is the access to women. This shows that group
basis for group aggression today. aggression can be beneficial.
2 Further studies have stated that if the more
aggressive tribe members are passing on
their genes, the population should get
increasingly aggressive. This has been
found to be the case, with traits like
belligerence and bravery becoming more
3 However the Yanamamo tribe is only one
tribe in a remote area of the world.
Conclusions drawn from its observation are
not generalisable to the rest of the world.
4 In the modern world, an example of group
aggression is the armament race between
the US and USSR to protect and extend
their zones of influence during the Cold War.
5 In modern industrialised societies, warfare 5 However these ritualised displays, despite
between tribal groups is obsolete. The being nonviolent, can become catalysts for
aggression is now ritualised to protect serious acts of aggression.
members of the group. An example of
ritualised warfare is sport. Sports involve
displays of skill and strength, which can
attract females looking for reproductive

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Explanations For Group Aggression ­ Andrew F
prowess, without the danger of fighting.
6 Group displays also serve the function of
determining hierarchies in relation to
ownership of territory and intimidation of
other groups.
7 Recent research shows that the keenest
rivalries in sport are between local teams.
This proves that resources and females
local to the men are more fiercely fought
for.…read more

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Explanations For Group Aggression ­ Andrew F
and reinforces gender stereotypes. It is
alpha biased as it exaggerates differences
between men and women.
16 The evolutionary theory is deterministic as it
suggests that group displays of aggression
are driven by our genes to serve the purpose
of survival and reproduction. There must be
some aspect of the cognitive approach
included which would give a variety of
potential responses to group displays.…read more


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