By Malcolm Potts, Thomas Hayden
As information of warfare and terror dominates the headlines, scientist Malcolm Potts and veteran journalist Thomas Hayden take a step again to give an explanation for all of it. within the spirit of Guns, Germs and Steel, Sex and War asks the fundamental questions: Why is conflict so primary to our species? And what will we do approximately it?
Malcolm Potts explores those questions from the frontlines, as a witness to war-torn nations worldwide. As a scientist and obstetrician, Potts has labored with governments and relief corporations globally, and within the trenches with girls who've been raped and brutalized during conflict. Combining their very own adventure with clinical findings in primatology, genetics, and anthropology, Potts and Hayden clarify war’s pivotal place within the human adventure and the way males particularly advanced lower than stipulations that preferred gang habit, rape, and arranged aggression. Drawing on those new insights, they suggest a rational plan for making war much less common and no more brutal within the future.
Anyone drawn to realizing human nature, struggle, and terrorism at their such a lot basic degrees will locate Sex and War to be an illuminating paintings, and one who may possibly swap the best way they see the area.
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Extra resources for Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World
Training and shared experience, as we will see, can shape and intensify the team aggression predisposition; they can also create a surpassingly strong sense of kinship among men who share no genes at all. Our emotions often serve the purpose of encouraging or dissuading particular types of behavior, and pleasure plays an especially strong role in this regard. Good food, a warm safe domicile, and sex all give us pleasure, and of course they all contribute to our survival—though we still enjoy a rich meal when we’re in no danger of starving, and humans are one of the very few species that indulge in sex primarily for pleasure rather than for reproduction.
Honor and Chivalry When animals live in herds or other large social groups there are more eyes and ears to detect a predator, and more bodies to work together to drive off an attacker. But competition is correspondingly more severe when animals live in close proximity, much as it is in confined spaces like a jail or zoo. ”86 The social cues that let animals signal when they know they’re beat are a useful safety valve in these hierarchies, letting individuals jostle for a new position without getting killed.
Chimpanzees are also social animals, and they too seem to show ambivalence about killing their own species—and a similar diversity of individual responses. In the Kasakela troop raid described in chapter 3, Figan attacked the infant torn from its mother’s arms. “Holding it by one leg, [he] leaped thorough the tree, smashing the infant against branches and trunk as he did so. ” Clearly, in human terms, this was a chimpanzee eager to pull the trigger. But then a raiding companion picked the infant up and groomed it, applying in-troop ethics.
Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World by Malcolm Potts, Thomas Hayden