- Oxford Library of Psychology
- Short Contents
- Oxford Library of Psychology
- About the Editors
- Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War
- Violence Across Animals and Within Early Hominins
- Comparative Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence
- Intimate Partner Violence: War at Our Doorsteps
- Chastity, Fidelity, and Conquest: Biblical Rules for Women and War
- Filicide and Child Maltreatment: Prospects for Ultimate Explanation
- Siblicide in Humans and Other Species
- Familial Homicide-Suicide
- Evolutionary Perspectives on Male-Male Competition, Violence, and Homicide
- Evolutionary Psychological Perspectives on Sexual Offending: From Etiology to Intervention
- Women and Aggression
- Culture of Honor, Violence, and Homicide
- Sacrifice and Sacred Values: Evolutionary Perspectives on Religious Terrorism
- Animal Abuse and Cruelty
- If, When, and Why Adolescent Bullying Is Adaptive
- The Male Warrior Hypothesis: The Evolutionary Psychology of Intergroup Conflict, Tribal Aggression, and Warfare
- A Feminist Evolutionary Analysis of the Relationship Between Violence Against and Inequitable Treatment of Women, and Conflict Within and Between Human Collectives, Including Nation-States
- War Histories in Evolutionary Perspective: Insights From Prehistoric North America
- War, Evolution, and the Nature of Human Nature
- Parasite Stress, Collectivism, and Human Warfare
- Band of Brothers or Band of Siblings?: An Evolutionary Perspective on Sexual Integration of Combat Forces
- An Evolutionary Perspective on Child Development in the Context of War and Political Violence
- The Extremes of Conflict in Literature: Violence, Homicide, and War
- Why Religion Is Unable to Minimize Lethal and Nonlethal Societal Dysfunction Within and Between Nations
- Peace and the Human Animal: Toward Integration of Comparative Evolutionary Psychology and Peace Studies
- Resource Acquisition, Violence, and Evolutionary Consciousness
Abstract and Keywords
We review and discuss the evolutionary psychological literature on violence, homicide, and war in humans and nonhumans, and in doing so we argue that an evolutionary perspective can substantially enhance our understanding of these behaviors. We provide a brief primer on evolutionary psychology, describing basic tenets of the field. The theories of sexual selection and parental investment are explained and subsequently used to highlight the evolutionary logic underlying the use of violence by humans and other animals. Our examination of violent behavior begins with a focus on nonhuman animals, reviewing the different contexts in which violence occurs and discussing how an evolutionary perspective can explain why it occurs in these contexts. We then examine violence in humans and illustrate the similarities and differences between human and nonhuman violence. Finally, we summarize what an evolutionary perspective can offer in terms of understanding violence, homicide, and war, and we discuss directions for future research.
Doctoral Student, Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
Todd K. Shackelford is Professor and Chair of Psychology at Oakland University.
Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford, Ph.D., is Special Lecturer in Psychology at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Her research focuses on conflict in parent-child and other familial relationships.
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