Discuss Evolutionary Explanations of Human Aggression (8+16)
The evolutionary explanation to aggression suggests that aggression is an evolved adaptation designed to enhance reproductive fitness (survival and passing along genes). The evolutionary approach suggests aggression results from paternal uncertainty leading to sexual jealousy and fear of cuckoldry, in which a male invests his resources into what he believes is his child, even though it carries none of his genetic material (Platek and Shackleford). This is something that males wish to avoid as it would not increase reproductive fitness. To deal with the fear of cuckoldry Daily and Wilson suggest that men evolved mate retention strategies from vigilance to violence. These deter their mate from leaving or cheating, if these are successful, the males reproductive fitness is increased. This leads to the genes for mate retention strategy being passed along resulting in human aggression across the species.
Evidence for mate retention strategies leading to aggression have been found by Shackleton 2005. In this study of 560 women and 461 males all in committed heterosexual relationships in United States universities. In one Study by Shackleton they found a positive correlation between the two types of mate retention strategy (intersexual negative inducements and direct guarding) and femaledirected violence. This suggests a link between mate retention strategy and aggression. A second study by Shackleton, further validates this link. This study found a positive correlation between partners using emotional manipulation on them and violence directed to them. Both these studies suggest that aggression is linked to sexual jealousy, fear of cuckoldry as a result of paternal uncertainty. However the validity of these results, and how effective they are at explaining the evolutionary explanations of aggression is ...
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