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Darwinian conniptions over domestic violence

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Punch (aptly named) and Judy/public domain

New Scientist, where it is known that all things come of evolution and we make nothing ourselves, does not know whether we “evolved” domestic violence:

Why is domestic violence so horrifyingly common around the world? According to a study out today, men who are violent towards their partners have more children in societies without birth control. This implies that evolution favours domestic violence – but can that really be true?

Yes. No. Maybe.

It is true that allowing Political Correctness to rule your thoughts and not believing that you have free will can lead to conniptions.

The researchers studied the Tsimane people of Bolivia, who have a pre-industrial culture with no access to contraception. Shockingly, 85 per cent of women reported violent incidents.

The team found that women were more likely to give birth in a year in which their partner was violent towards them. While the team did not explore the reasons for this, the implication is that men have evolved to use violence, or the threat of violence, to force their partners to have sex with them – that is, to rape them. Michael Le Page, “Did we really evolve domestic violence? We don’t know yet” at New Scientist

Oh dear. Let the Uncommon Descent News Coffee Room’s Free Cosmic Answers Desk come to the rescue here:

If we “evolved” to be a certain way, researchers would not need to find a remote, pre-industrial people to demonstrate it.

For example, we seem to have evolved to be predominately right-handed and fully bipedal, and to prefer warmer climates. We can observe these tendencies in the vast mass of people. They happen “naturally.” They do not seem unusual. And they explain some things, for example the relationship between a world climate map and a world human population density map.

But they don’t explain why some people do things we disapprove of. How did the people at New Scientist come to decide that domestic abuse is wrong? Or, as God asks in Genesis, Chapter 3, “Who told you you were naked?” The decision of New Scientist writers that domestic abuse is wrong is not likely a form of Darwinian evolution and the Tsimane people’s choices may not be either.

This study of the Tsimane involved just 105 women and was based on interviews asking about past events – a method of reporting that is known to be unreliable. It is very far from being conclusive evidence of an evolutionary link – as team member Jonathan Stieglitz of the University of Toulouse in France is the first to acknowledge.

So why don’t we just ignore it?

To show this more convincingly, a study would have to demonstrate that the children of abused women go on to have more children themselves.

Is that all? The circumstances under which those women have more children would not be relevant?

It would also be necessary to show that there are gene variants that predispose men to domestic violence rather than violence generally, and Stieglitz does not think they exist. Michael Le Page, “Did we really evolve domestic violence? We don’t know yet” at New Scientist

Well, gene violence couldn’t predispose men to domestic violence, as opposed to other kinds of violence, unless genes are nasty little people who talk us into specific evil deeds.

Overall, the combination of Darwinism and Political Correctness is not a happy one.

See also: All you will need to hear about evolutionary psychology’s Answers to Everything.

3 Replies to “Darwinian conniptions over domestic violence

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    I’ve never seen any mention of rape, as opposed to seduction, amongst the Bushmen. I think “domestic” violence kinda requires a domicile and therefore came about coincident with dwelling in fixed cities and acceptance of priest-kings as overlords. If a guy spends the day, every day, getting spit on and flogged by overseers, he ain’t really in the mood to come home and commiserate with a woman who burned the pottage.

    I think it’s in “Naked Ape”, but I read that decades ago, that they mention a tribe on the upper Amazon who are (were?) the most violent people on Earth. They fight ALL the time, both amongst themselves and with neighboring villages and since the Chief Honchos get to claim all of the local women as “wives”, lower class guys can ONLY have sexual intercourse by raping the women of the next village over during some war. Which is one of the most COMMON reasons for this people to have a war. Note that the wars are NEVER against other tribal groups. It’s a purely intramural kind of event.

    Since this is NOT a common lifestyle amongst the rest of humanity, I gotta believe it is NOT the result of Evolution.

    On the other hand, both Judaism and Islam (which originated WELL after men and women lived together in permanent villages) ORDER women to be submissive to men, and any man whose woman acts up is expected to clean her clock under pain of sin. And of course in all cultures, raping the women of your defeated enemy is just one of the insults to the MEN who lost the battle.

    Rape is never about sex. Rape is about Power. I think this is from Susan Brownmiller’s “Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape”, but it’s been a LONG time since I read that book, too.

  2. 2
    ronvanwegen says:

    Reply to 1)

    That “Rape is never about sex. Rape is about Power” trope is simply wrong. If rape was about power only then you would find “rapists” forcing their victims to play monopoly or wash their cars as often as they would force them to have sex.

    Rape is all about sex, and power is the environment which facilitates rape. Men have power but are not allowed to use it to get sex. That makes men angry. Angry men then get sex by using the fact that they are more powerful than women. Women can get sex whenever they want. The “rape is about power” notion is a radical feminist attempt to humiliate and subjugate men and seems to have been accepted unquestioningly.

    Radical feminist ideology is a scourge.

  3. 3
    OldArmy94 says:

    If evolution is all there ever was, then it isn’t logical to say that something other than evolution creates a rape culture. They just don’t like the implications of their theory and carrying it to its most logical end.

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