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Ask a Scientist: Sex and War

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Previous FORAtv comments:
angel23sim Avatar
Posted: 10.21.11, 02:16 AM
Adambi, Those are not accusations, they are simply facts based on SCIENTIFIC REsearch. And most of us would appreciate if you could keep the "harsh" and "wild" part of your thoughts for yourself. It would show you have respect for science and for all of us, speakers and internet users. And it will also bring the respect back to you. Thank you for your understanding.
mauz15 Avatar
Posted: 08.23.10, 10:06 PM
"The fact that chimpanzees, our closest evolutionary relatives, are the only other animals known to exhibit such organized warlike behavior is a big clue." Not exactly true.
curiously Avatar
Posted: 07.30.10, 01:56 AM
Stricter laws are exactly what you don't want. Instead of stifling these natural drives we have to offer more avenues for it's release. Many woman are trying to put a stop to fathers teaching their boys ultimate fighting as a sport when it's a great and controlled release. Violent movies and games provide the same. They don't make monsters, just the opposite, especially if boys are mentored. In these times of the vilified male though it makes that more difficult. This aggression can be very ugly but it's also the source of the most creative energy on the planet. More avenues, more guidance are the answers. I wish they spoke about that as it's the other 50% of the equation. It's too bad they call testosterone a weapon of mass destruction. At a population of 7bn right around the corner I'd say it was just the opposite. I would also say, if you want to reduce violence and all that comes with it, give fathers back to their children and give manhood back to our men.
curiously Avatar
Posted: 07.30.10, 01:11 AM
"in classes I have taken, they have always talked about how society shapes children to want these types of toys at a young age" you may consider a different school. Almost 40 years ago researchers were seriously questioning that theory and found it untrue time and again.
Periergeia Avatar
Posted: 06.25.10, 10:47 PM
Carol, I did a Google search for the 35% statistics after reading your post. I couldn't find the Thornhill paper online, but I found the following link to an almost 30 year old paper which predates it somewhat, which seems to contain the same conclusion with almost the same words and it describes the methodology: The test group seems to have been North American College students, hardly an "average testosterone" group and possibly one in which self-doubt about their own sexuality and self-control could be running rampant (and I would not be ashamed to base that on my own experience as a young male student... which I do not count as the most pleasant part of my life, for sure). The paper then tries to establish better predictors for the likelihood of individuals to actually rape a woman based on their reaction to the kind of depiction of a rape scene. I think the differentiation is both required and useful to understand what drives rapists and how we, as a society, can work to reduce the rate of rape (and not just by threat of punishment, which is probably fairly ineffective). I would take away from the paper that there is more than just a little hope that rape is not "simply" genetically pre-programmed but that it is indeed a function of the social environment. As a primitive example, I would cite that antisemitism in Germany was highly encouraged before 1945 and highly discouraged thereafter, which makes all the difference in the world to Jewish people living there today. While the change of the social attitude towards antisemitism hasn't eliminated it completely, it has reduced the occurrence of the phenomenon by orders of magnitude. Similarly I would hope that with education and social work we can do something similar to reduce the rate of rapes and bring down the number of men who seem to believe that they could actually rape a woman... and get away with it (without, at least, a lasting damage to their own psyche).
Carol Moore Avatar
Carol Moore
Posted: 06.25.10, 03:23 PM
Interesting about the male testosterone, but it seems even grasshoppers have a dominant male who runs the show in a group. Yet, the types of sports we are lucky to have for both males and females to allow them to compete these days, rather than the lions of the by-gone era of males in a sports arena, and people cheering. Sports on TV which has a lot of viewers, and the various types of entertainment we have now also helps control people in a positive way usually. The 35% of men that would rape a female if they could get away with it has me very concerned though. Could it be somewhat our violence in the movies and on TV part of cause? This is an area that must be worked on as too many children, male and female are violated, and until we as humans realize we destroy a lot of humans by this act both mentally and emotionally, and produce a more sick society by not having stricter laws. It was an interesting lecture though, and many good conversations could arise from it. Thank you.
Dmitry76 Avatar
Posted: 06.23.10, 09:10 PM
Eternal nature vs. nurture debate. High IQ alone makes no Einstein either.
Polesch Avatar
Posted: 06.23.10, 03:40 PM
I will recommend you one book, Steven Pinker's "The Blank Slate" - The Modern Denial of Human Nature. We are born with our gender, the idea that you are born with a moldable brain is not true. All genes in your body pre-defines who you are and what you can or will become. Remember, genes are prepositions, not determinations. Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is very much genetic, a person born with an IQ of 80 cannot become an Einstein. He just can't.
Dmitry76 Avatar
Posted: 06.23.10, 10:26 AM
The message is clear for me. "Do not mess with a frontier guard".