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Evolutionary Approach To Aggression Notes

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Evolutionary approach to aggression

Sees aggression in terms of its ability to increase survival chances therefore to enhance reproductive success Survival of the species Maximise chances of reproduction Aggression may have a role to play in reproduction Aggression in this context may be positive

How can aggression improve survival chances?

Aggressive behaviour has evolved to serve adaptive problems of social living o Some behaviours have survival value o Social living has limits on resources e.g. food, warmth, shelter Gain territory and resources e.g. children bullying other for money or toys, adults mugging and warfare o Historically, we may need to be aggressive to get resources from other people - small (stealing) or large (war) scale o Modern day - limited resource is a partner, women are only fertile between puberty and menopause, women can only have a limited amount of children Defending against attacks o Aggression to prevent loss of resources and status necessary for reproductive fitness o Protect partner, property, resources to prevent them being taken away Inflicting cost on same sex rivals o Aggression between same sex members to aid in the competition for resources and mates e.g. men fighting over women o Sexual competition to get a woman pregnant - may be aggressive to have higher status and be more attractive - the loser may try to beat the previous winner, so they then have higher status and be more attractive to a woman - may be aggressive to ward off competitors Negotiating status and power hierarchies o Aggression to gain prestige and dominance among same sex members e.g. gang violence to 'prove oneself' to aid sexual selection by opposite sex members i.e. woman attracted to dominant and powerful men Deterring rivals from future aggression

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