"Are Humans Nice or Mean?" Lecture Notes
"Are Humans Nice or Mean?" Lecture Notes ANTH 1005
Popular in Biological Basis of Human Behavior
Popular in Anthropology
This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rachel Onefater on Thursday October 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 1005 at George Washington University taught by Dr. Carson Murray in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Biological Basis of Human Behavior in Anthropology at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 10/13/16
Are Humans Nice or Mean? Tuesday, October 11, 9:30 AM --There is a long debate about this question: 1. Rousseau: humans history as "noble savages" and pointed toward hunter- gatherers and low levels of violence and warfare (i.e. people are inherently good) 2. Hobbs: Humans are inherently horrible and they only reason why we don’t run around and kill each other is because we have law enforcement Tasaday: Myth or Fact --Encountered in 1971 --26 men, omen, children --No words for violence, aggression, or conflict --'Gentle people' grave the cover of 1972 National Geographic --1986 'the tribe that never was' on 20/20--just a joke, and not really a tribe! Yanomamo Warfare --30% of adult male deaths due to violence --57% of people over age of 40 have lost 2 or more close relatives to violence --High levels of aggression are within and between groups --This is speaking toward an inherent and violent nature in hunter-gatherers, but thy are not without modern influences such as spear axes. • Are they fighting because they have more resources? • Is their territory more compressed? --great deal of evidence in violent deaths and warfare *NOTE:Skeleton-Turkana skeletons from hunter gatherers they found a mass exposure to very violent death whenthe skull had been crushed, and some looked as if the hands were bound because there was this idea because before modern agriculture and society, but… • We have limited evidence • Why can't weaccept that there is enormous variation in the population! ○ What are we fighting for? ○ There are ecological differences that may make the environment more competitive. Are Humans Mean? --Territoriality and warfare-domestic violence --Modern correlates of aggression/violence --Are wemean relative to what? There is scale and there are internal There are ecological differences that may make the environment more competitive. Are Humans Mean? --Territoriality and warfare-domestic violence --Modern correlates of aggression/violence --Are wemean relative to what? There is scale and there are internal experiences! Example: Apes on a Plan--if you put chimps on a plane and flew them for an hours, there may only be 5survivors and there would be blood everywhere, whereas we (humans) would not do this, and we seem more socially tolerant than these chimpanzees. --Chimpanzees are so aggressive to unknownindividuals Aggression (def.): intentional behavior aimed at causing either physical or psychological harm --Hostile (emotional) aggression: act of aggression stemming from a feeling of anger and aimed at inflicting pain or injury Ex: Comes from an emotional place, terrorism(maybe?) --Instrumental aggression: intention to hurt someone has a means to a goal other than causing pain. Ex: sport ad competition, modern warfare Forms of Aggression Direct aggression--physical, verbal Indirect aggression--harm someone indirect, gossiping, false rumors, harming reputation Sources of Conflict --Resources, socioecological theory --territoriality --mates Territoriality Creating a place of relatively low violence with relatively defined boundaries, Home range: an area where an individual limits itself; home ranges lack the agonistic behavior requisite to territoriality Territory: an actively defended home range A. Exclusive use of area B. Site attachment Creating a place of relatively low violence with relatively defined boundaries, Home range: an area where an individual limits itself; home ranges lack the agonistic behavior requisite to territoriality Territory: an actively defended home range A. Exclusive use of area B. Site attachment C. Agonistic behavior D. Attack changes to retreat at the territorial boundary --Hard to defend a space exclusively, not reasonable to think you would have territory Benefits: 1. Access to food 2. Access to mates 3. Safe location to rear offspring 4. Lowered predation (when individuals are dispersed across territories)--ex. Bird Costs: 1. Acquisition 2. Displays and patrolling 3. Possibility of injury during establishment or defense Indirect Territorial Maintenance --Bird songs of other vocalizations --Defecation in open areas --Scent marker, such as urine(individuals from testosterone levels) Example: Maintenance through aggression --New Zealand nests are just outside pecking distance from each other Warfare: Anextreme form of Territoriality Ex: Roman Empire, constantly expanding boundaries Patterns of Warfare in Hunter-gatherers --Vote with your feet: if you don't like it, go somewhere else --low levels of domestic violence and in-group aggression in the modern experience Challenges to Understanding HG patterns --lack of written accounts --use same weapons for hunting --If skull is fractured: did they fall, did they get hurt in a hunt? --Most common types of intercommunity violence in HG: raids , ambushes --A median death rate (from 12 hunter-gatherer groups) of 164 per 100,00 per year, which wassimilar to the rate of intercommunity killing in chimps (69-287 per 100,000 per year). Paper we read: "Lethal Intergroup Aggression Leads to Territorial Expansion in Wild Chimpanzees" (Mitani et al.) --warfare/raid, on-by-one killing males in different communities, what is that all about, what are you getting ultimately from doing this? A: Lethal intergroup aggression leads to territorial expansion in wild chimps for per 100,000 per year). Paper we read: "Lethal Intergroup Aggression Leads to Territorial Expansion in Wild Chimpanzees" (Mitani et al.) --warfare/raid, on-by-one killing males in different communities, what is that all about, what are you getting ultimately from doing this? A: Lethal intergroup aggression leads to territorial expansion in wild chimps for expansion in territory and increase in food resources, more mates and increase in access to reproductive ability Territory and inter-birth interval --As communities increase, there are shorter inter-birth intervals Yanomamo Example --Men whohave killed someone perform ritual and are known to rest of the village • 2.5 times as many wives • >3 times as many offspring Within Versus Between group *picture from slide --very little aggression within HG groups compared within chimp groups --Down regulation of reactive aggression in humans? • reactive emotionally driven has been down-regulated in humans Sexual Coercion --In HG societies, there is a lot of attention and interest in asking if this is an adaptive strategy? Is there a reason why this could be an adaptive strategy? --Sexual coercion: any force or threat of force by a male against a female that functions to (1) increase his ownmating access and /or (2) decreasing mating access of another male Types of Coercion: 1. Force copulation i.e. rape --esp. orangutans 2. Harassment: repeated attempts to copulate that impose costs on females, inducing eventual submission 3. Intimidation: physical punishment of female refusal to mate, increasing likelihood of submission in the future 4. Mate guarding: directing aggression at females to prevent them from mating with other males Three Types of Prediction of Sexual Coercion 1. Male aggression against females should intensify in reproductive contexts 2. Male aggression against females should correlate with increase mating activity 4. Mate guarding: directing aggression at females to prevent them from mating with other males Three Types of Prediction of Sexual Coercion 1. Male aggression against females should intensify in reproductive contexts 2. Male aggression against females should correlate with increase mating activity 3. Must be a cost to male aggression--reduced time looking for food and mates, female-female coalition etc. Design a study to test whether sexual coercion is an adaptive strategy in wild chimpanzees: Ex: Can look at rate of sexual coercion and number offspring is sired in that community by those males whohave participated in sexual coercion Parous: bearing offspring of a specified number, or reproducing in a specified manner --Males are more aggressive toward parous females --examined median dyadic rates of aggression for each of 13 males with 15 parous females --calculated monthly cortisol levels for the eight parous females observed in cycling and non-cycling conditions between 1998 and 2005 *NOTE:Coercion a long time strategies in chimpanzees? No coercion in Bonobos Patterns of Sexual Coercion in Humans Variability: -- Gender violence of any kind is extremely rare in a few small-‐scale societies, such as Wape of PNG (Mitchell, 1999) – Intimate partner violence may be socially condoned and even commended, such as in a Mayan community in Belize (McClusky, 2001) Uniform in one respect: --Most victims are fertile females • In a sample of 673 women from the Bradford Royal Infirmary over a 12 month period: mean age of domestic assault was 30 with almost 90% of them younger than 40 versus mean age of accident victims was 36 and many of them (36%) were 40 or older --Post-‐menopausal women have a very reduced reproductive potential. Theories for violence towards women • ‘A marriage license is hitting license’ (Straus, 1980). Male entitlement. --True that is more common where condoned • Redirection of frustrations a la Freud • Prevailing theory in evolutionary psychology and related fields is that gender violence is a form of sexual coercion and mate guarding – Most assaults are motivated by male jealousy as a result of real (or imagined) infidelity What are alternate explanations for this pattern? --Political capitol of women begins to soar later in life (Brown 1982, Kerns and • Prevailing theory in evolutionary psychology and related fields is that gender violence is a form of sexual coercion and mate guarding – Most assaults are motivated by male jealousy as a result of real (or imagined) infidelity What are alternate explanations for this pattern? --Political capitol of women begins to soar later in life (Brown 1982, Kerns and Brown 1992) Alternate explanation: Protection from adult offspring, particularly sons. ‘A vigilant mother allows him to’ both watch his wife and build outside alliances (Brown 1997) Correlates of Aggression--Aggression Patterns by Sex • Candepend uponwhich type of aggression is under study • Men are much more likely to engage in physical aggression • Men and women are equally likely to engage in verbal aggression • Women are more likely to engage in indirect aggression Patterns emerge early in life --Does this reflect different interactions with parents? Experience of Aggression • Hugedifferences between how men and women experience aggression • MEN: View aggressive acts as an exercise in control over others, brought on by a challenge to their self-‐esteem and integrity. More likely to view their aggressive acts as positive (instrumental aggression) • WOMEN:View their aggression as coming from excessive stress and loss of self-‐control. Feel more guilt and concern after being aggressive. Explanations for Sex Differences 1) Cultural acceptance of aggression. Girls receive more negative feedback during developmental years. ‘Ladylike’ 2) Social structure of childhood play groups. Girls have smaller, more intimate play groups while boys have larger, less defined play groups. Ergo, girls have social patterns that lend themselves towards indirect aggression. 3) Biological factors. Strength. Costs and benefits. What about sex differences in non-‐human primates? • Mothers estimate the slope that boys can descend correctly within 1 degree but under-‐estimate girls ability by 9 degrees social patterns that lend themselves towards indirect aggression. 3) Biological factors. Strength. Costs and benefits. What about sex differences in non-‐human primates? • Mothers estimate the slope that boys can descend correctly within 1 degree but under-‐estimate girls ability by 9 degrees • Parents explain more often to boys than girls in scientific thinking • Within hours of birth, parents describe children differently • Parents use a greater number and variety of emotion words with girls • Fathers differentiate more than mothers do Correlates of Aggression • Resource availability • Population density • SES • Social environment Agriculture and Aggression--Transition to Agriculture • Starting around 10,000 YA,or about 5% of human history • Not one revolution, but several across the world • Suspected reasons for conversion – Climate change reduces food availability through tradition hunting and gathering --First farmers were in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. Positive Impacts • Dependable food sources Positive Impacts • Dependable food sources • Support higher human density • More specialized labor • Short-‐term reduced aggression? Negative Impacts • Formation of social hierarchies (prestige) • Longer work days • Fossils reveal that compared to the first farmers, hunter-‐gatherers had: – Larger bodies – Better enamel – Less disease • Likely mediated by: – More varied and nutritious diets – Closer proximity of agrarian society facilitates disease transmission • Sexual inequality Spoils of War --In agricultural societies, stationary food resources. --Stationary food resources require defense and groups results (COOPERATION) --Growing groups become more competitive and can raid neighboring societies (BETWEEN GROUP COMPETITION) For: 1) Territory 2) Women 2) Women --Deaths from intergroup aggression for chimpanzees and humans in subsistence societies *Note: SAME ORDER OF MAGNITUDE. ADAPTIVE VALUE OFSPORTSSexualSelection (Zahavi) Evidence in Favor of Sexual Selection Hypothesis • Culturally invented courtships that reliably advertise unobserved athletic abilities • Athletes (men and women) have more sexual partners Alternate Hypotheses • Male-‐male competition: Elimination of Competitors • Male-‐male competition: Assessing allies • Parental choice hypothesis: Men are selected as son-‐in-‐laws Competition Begets Cooperation • Groups that cooperate more may outcompete those that cooperate less or are fighting amongst themselves
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