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Evolutionary Explanations for Human Aggression
Evolutionary psychologists argue male sexual jealously is one of
the sex differences that has evolved because of the different
reproductive challenges that where faced by our ancestors. It is a result
of detection or suspected Infidelity, and Daly and Wilson claim that
strategies have evolved to stop their female partner from committing
adultery which ranges from vigilance to violence.
Men are more likely to experience sexual jealously because they are
at risk of cuckoldry that is inflict on them because of the result of
their partners infidelity, therefore they are not certain that they are the
fathers of their children. The consequence of this being the man would
invest his resources in offspring that are not his own. Sexual
jealously therefore provides a way to deter females from sexual infidelity and minimising the
risk of cuckoldry.
To do this, Buss suggests that men have a number of retention strategies evolved
for the purpose of keeping a mate. This includes direct guarding, where
a man is vigilant to their partner in order to restrict her sexual autonomy
and negative inducements in the form of violence or threats to prevent her
from straying. As sexual jealously is a primary cause of violence against
women, those who are perceived by their partner to be threatening
infidelity are more at risk of violence.
If there is the detection of Infidelity, or what the man perceives to be Infidelity towards him,
some men are especially prone to using violence or the threat of
violence and in extreme cases may lead the partner's death.
According to Daly and Wilson, the death of the partner from physical violence
may be an unintended consequence of this evolutionary behaviour being for
control rather than death.
The link between infidelity and partner violence is supported by the
finding a partner's infidelity predicts sexual coercion among males,
but not among females. This is significant because males are at risk of
cuckoldry than females. Within another supporting study it found that
men convicted of raping their partners were more likely to have experienced cuckoldry risks
prior to their offence compared to men convicted if non-sexual partner abuse.
There is further research support concerning mate
retention strategies and female directed violence within a
study conducted by Shakelford et al, using a survey method
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It was found that the two broad types of retention
strategies were positively correlated with their violent scores. Also emotional
manipulation appeared to be another tactic of men's violence towards women. The results
from the female's participants confirmed the trend, with the main retention strategies being
also positively correlated with their female-directed violence.
However, within Shakelford study, data was collected using survey
methods which are a form of a self-report technique.…read more