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Socio Biological Views Of Human Aggression. Essay

1566 words - 6 pages

Jasmine DonovanANTH 214 Mackres12:30 p.m. T/Th4/3/03Sociobiological views of Human AggressionThe Webster's dictionary defines sociobiology as, "The study of the biological determinants of social behavior, based on the theory that such behavior is often genetically transmitted and subject to evolutionary processes." Basically, human behaviors are due to our genetic makeup, rather than it being learned from culture. In supporting that, a revolutionary ethologist, Konrad Lorenz, developed an elaborate biological hypothesis based on his recorded comparisons with human and animal behavior. In 1966, he wrote a book, On Aggression, which outlined that in the long period of human evolution, certain genes were selected that evolved an aggressive instinct in humans.(Scupin p.138) He said that this instinct resulted from natural selection because of inter-group competition and hostility. (p.138)Sociobioligists believe that human aggressiveness is directly related to the knowledge of ape aggression. Originally, our earlier ancestors were something like an opossum or a bush baby that ate on fruits or large insects by themselves, rather than socially. (Wrangham & Peterson p.130) Our 'grandmothers' and 'grandfathers' all had these grasping hands and large forward-facing eyes. Among these characteristics that were passed down, there was a typical mammalian set of aggressive behavior patterns. (p.131)One noticeable aggressive behavior was that of protecting their territory. This sort of territorial defense was most always carried out by the females rather than the males. (Montagu p.231) In some monkey species, the fight would progress to a group of females forming a tight barrier - these females moving shoulder to shoulder, snarling, and screaming at the opposing 'team' which could be only a few feet away. (Wrangham & Peterson p.130) This aggression is very different from the violence and anger shown by chimpanzees. The goal in chimp fights over land is basically seeing the other team lose. (Montagu p.147) Most chimps are in it to see the other group surrender, rather than die. (Wrangham & Peterson p.131) Another form of primate aggression is inside the social group, where the males rival most. But, like human boxers in a boxing ring, each male's ultimate goal is to see his opponent lose, but not die (like the chimpanzee's over their territory.)(Montagu p.148) Occasionally, though, chimpanzees and humans deliberately search for victims - to kill or mutilate - despite his/her cry for mercy. (Wrangham & Peterson p.131)Chimpanzees and humans also commit other evil doings - political murders, beatings and rape. (Baron & Richardson p.133) Its interesting to point out that rape is a common act among orangutans and chimps but not known to most other species of primates, or other animals. (Montagu p.116) The issue of rape among orangutans or chimps is maybe the key factor to the reason of their aggression - to get their genes into the next generation....

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