History, Social Science, Top Stories

The Behavioral Ecology of Male Violence

“Aggressive competition for access to mates is much
more beneficial for human males than for females…”
~Georgiev et al. 1

Cranial remains of an individual likely killed through interpersonal violence 430,000 years ago. From ‘Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene’ by Sala et al. PLOS One (2015).

Understanding patterns of lethal violence among humans requires understanding some important sex differences between males and females. Globally, men are 95 percent of homicide offenders and 79 percent of victims.2 Sex differences in lethal violence tend to be remarkably consistent, on every continent, across every type of society, from hunter-gatherers to large-scale nation states. In their 2013 study on lethal violence among hunter-gatherers, Douglas Fry and Patrik Söderberg’s data showed that males committed about 96 percent of homicides and were victims 84 percent of the time.3 In her study on violence in non-state societies, criminologist Amy Nivette shows that, across a number of small-scale pastoralist and agriculturalist societies, males make up 91-98 percent of killers.4 To illustrate the consistency of this relationship even further: we see the same pattern among chimpanzees, where males make up 92 percent of killers and 73 percent of victims.5

To be sure, there is some cross-cultural variation. While I can find no well-studied population where women are known to commit more lethal violence than men, there are some societies where women make up an equal number, or even the majority, of homicide victims. These societies generally seem to have low rates of homicide overall, as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime mentions in their 2013 study on global homicide:

Available data suggest that in countries with very low (and decreasing) homicide rates (less than 1 per 100,000 population), female victims constitute an increasing share of total victims and, in some of those countries, the share of male and female victims appears to be reaching parity.

Hong Kong, with a low homicide rate overall, has a comparatively smaller sex difference in homicide offending, and women make up a majority of homicide victims at 52 percent. Yet even in Hong Kong, males commit 78 percent of reported homicides. The world over, the majority of homicide offenders and victims tend to be reproductive-age males, between their late teens and early 40s.

To understand why this pattern is so consistent across a wide variety of culturally and geographically diverse societies, we need to start by looking at sex differences in reproductive biology.

Biologically, individuals that produce small, relatively mobile gametes (sex cells), such as sperm or pollen, are defined as male, while individuals that produce larger, less mobile gametes, such as eggs or ovules, are defined as female. Consequently, males tend to have more variance in reproductive success than females, and a greater potential reproductive output. Emperor of Morocco, Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty (1672–1727) was estimated to have fathered 1171 children from 500 women over the course of 32 years,6 while the maximum recorded number of offspring for a woman is 69, attributed to an unnamed 18th century Russian woman married to a man named Feodor Vassilyev.

Maximum recorded number of offspring produced by males and females of select species. From ‘An Introduction to Behavioral Ecology’ by Davies et al. (2012). A more recent estimate points to the maximum recorded number of offspring for a male human being as high as 1171.

Across a wide variety of taxa, the sex that produces smaller, mobile gametes tends to invest less in parental care than the sex that produces larger, less mobile gametes. For over 90 percent of mammalian species, male investment in their offspring ends at conception, and they provide no parental care thereafter.7 A male mammal can often increase his reproductive success by seeking to maximize mating opportunities with females, and engaging in violent competition with rival males to do so. From a fitness perspective, it may be wasteful for a male to provide parental care, as it limits his reproductive output by reducing the time and energy he spends competing for mates.

Table showing greater variance and a higher potential reproductive output for males than females across a number of human societies. From ‘Means, Variances, and Ranges in Reproductive Success: Comparative Evidence’ (2012) by Laura Betzig.

For a female, in contrast, maximizing her reproductive success usually stems less from directly competing for mating opportunities than from securing the resources and protection necessary for her offspring to live and grow to adulthood. This is clearly visible among mammals, where females spend significant time and energy gestating (carrying a child) and lactating, which males cannot do. As a consequence, the amount of time and energy directly invested in children is necessarily greater among females than males, at least during fetal development and early childhood.

Predictably, among humans, males engage in more direct, violent competition for mates than females do, and females provide more caregiving than males do. However, humans are unique in that some male participation in caregiving is ubiquitous across cultures.8 Human infants are particularly helpless during early development, requiring extensive provisioning and caregiving.9 Human males face the same tradeoff between securing mating opportunities and providing parental care that males of other species face, and the extent to which males utilize either of these strategies can vary significantly due to social and ecological factors.

Noting these sex differences in reproductive biology and parental investment is important because they help explain why males tend to engage in more violence than females.10 Aggressively engaging in violent conflict is more likely to reduce a female’s fitness, as it may bring unnecessary danger to her offspring, or cause an injury that may prevent her from reproducing in the future. For a male, however, violent conflict can potentially increase his reproductive success through increases in status,11 or by aggressively monopolizing access to key resources.12 Among the Yanomami of the Amazon,13 and the Nyangatom of East Africa,14 for example, males who participate in more violence and warfare have increased reproductive success. Even in the contemporary United States, there is evidence that more violent males have more sexual partners.15

Among the Ache hunter-gatherers of Paraguay, the children of men who have killed are more likely to survive to adulthood.16 Male parental investment can also act to deter violence among the Ache, as children without fathers are more likely to be killed by other males.17

Conversely, among the Waorani of the Amazon, more violent males do not have increased reproductive success.18 Whether a particular behavioral strategy is adaptive or not is closely related to social and ecological circumstances, and it is important to keep this in mind when thinking about sex differences and human evolution. I would not argue that males are ‘wired’ to be violent in any deterministic sense.

Rather, because of sex differences in parental investment and reproductive output, there are (and have been historically) more contexts where violent behavior may increase a male’s reproductive success compared to a female. And equally, there are more contexts where violent behavior may reduce a female’s reproductive success compared to a male. A young man who impregnates a woman and then goes to die in a war still leaves a child behind who may be cared for by the mother and her family, while a young pregnant woman who would fight faces a much greater fitness risk.

These sex differences have important implications for coalitionary violence. As behavioral ecologist Bobbi S. Low writes:

Pursuit of mating success leads mammalian males to involvement in coalitions more often involving nonrelatives, with higher risks and greater conflicts of interests. Pursuit of parental success…leads mammalian females to strive more often as individuals and in coalitions of relatives, with less conflict of interest and less risk.19

In regard to human societies, Low also notes that, generally, “Men appear to seek overt political power for direct reproductive gain (wives, owed reciprocity), while women seek resources for themselves and their offspring.”

When we see consistent patterns across diverse cultures, it likely tells us something important about our evolutionary history, and understanding trends we see today can help us better understand the selection pressures that occurred in the past. In anthropologist Martin King Whyte’s study on The Status of Women in Preindustrial Societies, he looked at sex roles across 93 nonindustrial societies of diverse subsistence types (hunter-gatherer, horticulturalist, pastoralist, agriculturalist, etc.) from all over the world.20 He found that in 88.5 percent of societies, only males participated in warfare, while in the remaining 11.5 percent, males still did all the fighting but women could provide aid. While there are undoubtedly examples of female participation in warfare throughout history,21 I am not aware of any society where female participation in warfare has ever equaled that of males.22

Now, an important caveat: not all violence can be explained in terms of adaptive strategies. Humans are not simply fitness-optimizing machines, and we can point to plenty of behaviors and practices across cultures that are likely not adaptive from a fitness standpoint.23, 24

However, when looking at the most common causes of lethal conflict across cultures, we can see a clear relationship between a male’s fitness interests and killings. Homicide often occurs in the context of revenge, fights over status, and sexual jealousy.25 Competition for territory and resources also plays a strong role, particularly in the context of coalitionary killings, such as in gang violence and warfare. Cross-culturally, revenge often occurs in the context of seeking vengeance for a relative that was killed, which may act to deter future attacks on the killer’s relatives, and thus increase his inclusive fitness. Revenge is also often related to fights over status against rival males. Furthermore, having high-status and being able to control desired territory and resources can often increase a male’s reproductive success, through mechanisms beyond just force, such as female choice, or by being a preferred partner in marriages arranged by a potential wife’s parents.26

As for homicide due to sexual jealousy, this often occurs in the context of the (real or perceived) threat of infidelity.27 This might be a male killing his wife’s lover, or his wife, out of a belief that she is cheating, or fears that she will leave him.

As these patterns indicate, male violence in humans often occurs in contexts where a man’s reproductive success is threatened, or where he may derive greater reproductive success from engaging in violence. Due to our evolutionary history, even in modern contexts where specific violent behaviors may not be fitness maximizing, such as in an armed robbery or gang violence, we can consider these behaviors to be, in part, a byproduct of a greater propensity among males to aggressively pursue status and gain resources in ways that would have increased their reproductive success in the past.28

With all this in mind, we can think about how the prevalence of lethal violence may be reduced today. Research in behavioral ecology indicates that violence is more likely to occur in contexts where defensible resources can be successfully monopolized through force.29 Importantly, these resources often also have the effect of increasing the reproductive success (or preventing a decline in the reproductive success) of the individuals that control them. Which resources are most valuable should vary based on socioecological context, but common ones would be food, territory, mates and varying forms of social capital (dominance rank, prestige, or other forms of status).

There is good evidence that contemporary nation states, particularly wealthy, industrialized ones, have some of the lowest rates of lethal violence in human history.30 Having laws and a police force perceived as legitimate by the population at large changes the incentives for lethal violence, increasing the costs and reducing the benefits for those who engage in such behavior. Furthermore, well-functioning states can resolve disputes that might otherwise have led to cycles of revenge raiding and blood feuds in other social contexts.31, 32, 33

Percentage of deaths from lethal violence across various types of social organization. From ‘The Phylogenetic Roots of Human Lethal Violence’ by Gómez et al. (2016), supplementary information, pg. 9.

Unsurprisingly, we see high rates of lethal violence in sectors outside the reach of, or poorly covered by, the influence of states, such as among gangs and organized crime. When it comes to high-demand products prohibited by the state, such as illegal drugs, it is violent organizations that effectively control these markets, as the state fails to offer a resolution when conflicts occur. In Codes of the Underworld, social scientist Diego Gambetta writes, “Mafia-like groups offer a solution of sorts to the trust problem by playing the role of a government for the underworld and supplying protection to people involved in illegal markets or deals.”34

U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions unwittingly touched on this in an op-ed he wrote last year for the Washington Post, where he noted that, “Drug trafficking is an inherently violent business. If you want to collect a drug debt, you can’t, and don’t, file a lawsuit in court. You collect it by the barrel of a gun.” Sessions has consistently supported more extensive crackdowns on drug trafficking. One implication I draw from research in behavioral ecology is that legalizing many illegal drugs and having the state protect property rights for these products might reduce the lethal violence associated with the drug trade, as economist Milton Freidman argued decades ago.

There are other socioecological factors where we see an association with lethal conflict, such as the link between polygyny and war. Terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram and ISIS have exploited marriage inequality among young males by paying the brideprice (money or gifts given to a potential wife’s family), or providing wives, for recruits in the Middle East and West Africa.35 When some males monopolize access to wealth or mates, young males who are left out may behave violently to try and distinguish themselves, competing for control of such resources. As we might expect, there is evidence that higher rates of resource inequality within societies are associated with increased rates of violent conflict among men.36, 37

The approach I take here, rooted in behavioral ecology, does not necessarily conflict with genetics playing a role in the propensity to commit lethal violence. A review published in Advances in Genetics in 2011 found that roughly half the variance (50 percent) in aggressive behavior among both males and females is attributable to genetic factors.38 Importantly, however, there is also evidence for significant gene-environment interactions affecting violent behavior.39 Furthermore, when we see significant, and rapid, changes in rates of lethal violence in a single generation within a society,40 it points to the need to examine the role played by socioecology.

Likewise, some may object to my focus here on adaptive and material explanations for violent behavior, and instead argue for a greater role played by ideology and socialization. I have previously written about societies with ‘men’s cults,’ where young males often partake in dysphoric rituals, and are socialized to become warriors. Further, among the Gebusi of New Guinea, most homicides occur in the context of sorcery allegations,41 illustrating how cultural ideas can play a role in promoting violence.

However, the men’s cults are often dominated by elder males, who control the sexuality of young men and monopolize access to important resources and knowledge. Among the Gebusi, anthropologist Bruce Knauft found that sorcery accusations are often precipitated by lack of reciprocity in marriage exchanges. He writes, “In this sense sorcery homicide is ultimately about male control of marriageable women.” Even where socialization and ideological factors play a role in lethal violence, they may be a proxy for underlying fitness interests.

There is a concern among some social scientists and science writers that providing adaptive and biological explanations for violence has the effect of encouraging such behaviors. Anthropologist Douglas Fry argues that, “Naturalizing war creates an unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecy: If war is natural, then there is little point in trying to prevent, reduce, or abolish it.”

My argument here is that homicide and warfare are very much ‘natural’ behaviors, often tied to male fitness interests; however, such behaviors are sensitive to socioecological cues, and their prevalence can vary significantly across and within societies. Even among chimpanzees, we see significant variation in rates of lethal violence between different communities, even for those located near each other.

Killings per year across a number of chimpanzee and bonobo communities. (E)=Eastern chimpanzees, (W)=Western chimpanzees, (B)=bonobos. From ‘Lethal Aggression in Pan is Better Explained by Adaptive Strategies than Human Impacts’ by Wilson et al. (2014).

An important strength of the behavioral ecology approach to understanding human behavior is that it goes beyond more narrow ideas rooted in genetic determinism or social constructionism. Violence is not ‘innate’ in the sense of being predictably and rigidly determined by genes alone, nor is it the arbitrary result of socialization or cultural learning. Yet violence is nonetheless rooted in human biology, particularly in sex differences between males and females, and the prevalence of violence can vary substantially across and within cultures due to socioecological factors.

In understanding the cross-cultural trends, as well as accounting for the variation, we can better understand both why males everywhere are, on average, more violent than females, as well as how best to reduce the prevalence of violence within our own societies.


William Buckner is a student of Evolutionary Anthropology at UC Davis. He is interested in cultural evolution and understanding human conflict patterns across cultures. He can be followed on Twitter @Evolving_Moloch



1 Alexander V. Georgiev, Amanda C. E. Klimczuk, Daniel M. Traficonte, and Dario Maestripieri “When Violence Pays: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Aggressive Behavior in Animals and Humans” Evol Psychol. 2013 Jul 18; 11(3): 678–699.
2  UNODC. 2013. Global Study on Homicide 2013. United Nations publication.
3 Fry, D. & Söderberg, P. 2013. Lethal Aggression in Mobile Forager Bands and Implications for the Origins of War. Science
4 Nivette, A.E. 2011. Violence in Non-State Societies. British Journal of Criminology
5 Wilson, M.L. et al. 2014. Lethal aggression in Pan is better explained by adaptive strategies than human impacts. Science
6 Oberzaucher, E. & Grammer, K. 2014. The Case of Moulay Ismael – Fact or Fancy? PLOS One
7 Royle, N.J. et al. 2012. The Evolution of Parental Care. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

8 Anderson, K.G. & Starkweather, K.E. Parenting Strategies in Modern and Emerging Economies. Human Nature
9 Dunsworth, H.M. et al. 2012. Metabolic hypothesis for human altriciality. PNAS
10 Campbell, A. & Cross, C. 2012. Women and Aggression. in The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War (ed. by Shackelford, T. K. et al.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

11 Glowacki, L. & Wrangham, R.W. 2013. The Role of Rewards in Motivating Participation in Simple Warfare. Human Nature
12 Glowacki, L. et al. 2017. The evolutionary anthropology of war. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
13 Chagnon, N.A. 1988. Life Histories, Blood Revenge, and Warfare in a Tribal Population. Science
14 Glowacki, L. & Wrangham, R. 2015. Warfare and reproductive success in a tribal population. PNAS
15 Seffrin, P.M. 2016. The Competition–Violence Hypothesis: Sex, Marriage, and Male Aggression, Justice Quarterly
16 Hurtado, A.M. & Hill, K. 1996. Ache Life History: The Ecology and Demography of Foraging People. New York. Routledge

17 Hill, K. & Kaplan, H. 1988. Tradeoffs in male and female reproductive strategies among the Ache, Part 2. in Human Reproductive Behaviour: A Darwinian Perspective (ed. by Beltzig, L. et al.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
18 Beckerman, S. et al. 2009. Life histories, blood revenge, and reproductive success among the Waorani of Ecuador PNAS
19 Low, B.S. 1992. Sex, Coalitions, and Politics in Preindustrial Societies. Politics and the Life Sciences
20 Whyte, M.K. 1978. The Status of Women in Preindustrial Societies. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

21 Law, R. 1993. The ‘Amazons’ of Dahomey. Paideuma
22 Goldstein, J.S. 2001. War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

23 Edgerton, R.B. 1992, 2010. Sick Societies. New York: Simon & Schuster.
24 Boyd, R. & Richerson, P.J. 2005. The Origin and Evolution of Cultures. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
25 Daly, M. & Wilson, M. 1988, 2009. Homicide. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.
26 Apostolou, M. 2010. Parental choice: What parents want in a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law across 67 pre-industrial societies. British Journal of Psychology
27 Buss, D. 2000. The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy Is as Necessary as Love and Sex. New York: The Free Press.

28 von Rueden, C.R. & Jaeggi, A.V. 2016. Men’s status and reproductive success in 33 nonindustrial societies: Effects of subsistence, marriage system, and reproductive strategy. PNAS
29 Jaeggi, A.V. 2016. Obstacles and catalysts of cooperation in humans, bonobos, and chimpanzees: behavioural reaction norms can help explain variation in sex roles, inequality, war and peace. Behaviour
30 Gómez, J.M. et al. 2016. The phylogenetic roots of human lethal violence. Nature
31 Diamond, J. 2012. The World Until Yesterday. New York: Viking Press.

32 Keeley, L. 1996. War Before Civilization. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
33 Pinker, S. 2011. The Better Angles of Our Nature. London: Penguin Books.
34 Gambetta, D. 2011. Codes of the Underworld. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
35 Hudson, V.M. & Matfess, H. 2017. In Plain Sight: The Neglected Linkage between Brideprice and Violent Conflict. International Security
36 Wilson, M. & Daly, M. 1997. Life expectancy, economic inequality, homicide, and reproductive timing in Chicago neighborhoods. BMJ
37 Elgar, F.M. & Aitken, N. 2010. Income inequality, trust and homicide in 33 countries. European Journal of Public Health
38 Tuvblad, C. & Baker, L.A. 2011. Human Aggression Across the Lifespan: Genetic Propensities and Environmental Moderators. Advances in Genetics
39 Laucht, M. et al. 2014. Gene–Environment Interactions in the Etiology of Human Violence. Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience
40 Pridemore, W.A. 2007. Change and Stability in the Characteristics of Homicide Victims, Offenders and Incidents During Rapid Social Change. British Journal of Criminology
41 Knauft, B. 1987. Reconsidering Violence in Simple Human Societies. Current Anthropology.


  1. DiscoveredJoys says

    All of which leads on to sexual selection. Are there instances of women preferring (to mate with) men who can be violent in their protection and protection of their children? Either bodily protection, honour protection, or status protection. I’d argue that this is quite common but the strength of the preference varies with the perception of cultural risk.

    In which case male propensity to violence may have some of its roots in mating strategies but it is not independent of women’s preferences. After all, mothers raise those boys traditionally …

    • Andrew Smedley says

      Yes I think so. In LA, males who have been to prison for violent crime tend to be preffered. Unfortunately I cannot find a reference for this but I’m sure I read it not too long ago. Fairly sure this effect is only significant in the context of unequal societies.

  2. Arguments based on “human male reproductive success has more variance than female” are shaky. Hunter gatherer societies are and were remarkably equal and monogamous. Examples like “Ghengis Khan having thousands of children” all come after the agricultural revolution, before that it was hardly possible. Studies on Y-chromosome are also inconclusive and contradicting. It is all interesting research but basing any kind of arguments about behaviour in contemporary society is necessarily far-fetched.

    • No they are not. The data is absolutely 100% conclusive on this. Whether genealogies from small scale societies or studies on human DNA. There are no contradictions here.

      • Well…

        “Our findings suggest that, contrary to prior claims, male lineages do not coalesce significantly more recently than female lineages.” – Poznik, 2013


        “We confirmed that Y-chromosome diversity in our sample was low and found that positing extreme male specific bottlenecks in the last few millennia could lead to a good fit between modeled and observed relative diversity levels for the autosomes” – Poznik, 2016

        Meaning, big differences in the distribution of reproductive success between males and females seem to be a *rather new* thing in human history. That doesn’t necessarily contradict the article’s point though.

        I am sure the author, being an anthropologist, knows much more about this than I, but I would be curious on how these pieces of information fit in. Specifically, what are the roots of male agressive behaviour, given that a lot has changed in the last ten thousand years.

        • The Poznik paper from 2013 is about the time to our most recent male and female common ancestor, if you think it’s about reproductive skew you’re mistaken.

          And about the Poznik paper from 2016 let me quote: “Using either mutation rate estimate, the lineage expansions seem to have followed innovations that may have elicited increased variance in male reproductive success”. Hardly a denial of reproductive skew in humans.

          Check out “Comparative study of reproductive skew and pair-bond stability using genealogies from 80 small-scale human societies”, pretty clear evidence for polygyny throughout human smalll scale societies.

          Check Lippold 2014; “We also find that the ratio of female effective population size to male effective population size has been greater than one throughout the history of modern humans”

          Check also Hammer et al 2008: “our results point to a systematic difference between the sexes in the variance in reproductive success; namely, the widespread effects of polygyny in human populations”

          As said, the evidence is pretty clear on this point.

          • It’s far from clear. Eg.:

            From Walker 2011: “Phylogenetic reconstructions suggest that marriages in early ancestral human societies probably had low levels of polygyny (low reproductive skew)”

            Also observe (emphasis mine):

            “David Barash argues that humans are naturally polygamous, in that they have innate polygamous preferences. In particular, Barash argues that human males have preferences and other psychological states designed to support aggressive polygynous sexual competition, and that the resulting behavior has driven the selection of various other psychological and behavioral traits in humans. **This is controversial, since the prevailing view of the human mating system in our recent evolutionary history was that it was choice-based and only mildly polygynous.** In this review I evaluate Barash’s arguments and conclude that he has not made his case for the stronger view.”

            So, as far as I can tell, there is evidence either way and the science is far from settled on this.

          • There is not evidence either way, the only thing there is disagreement about is how large the reproductive skew is. Both papers that you cite acknowledge higher male variance in reproductive success in humans. There is no one who doubt that humans are polygynous, the only disagreement is about the exact degree. Walker considers it “low” if no more than 20% of males in a society are harem-keepers, but that is enough cause a significant skew and have far going evolutionary effects, it means there is constant selection pressure on men getting more than one wife. The second paper you cite doesn’t deny humans are polygynous either. As said, there is no debate about this. There is absolute 100% consensus.

  3. sarka says

    I don’t really disagree with this argument overall, but it does rather sideline some of the really fascinating cultural “constraints” or “prompts” or whatever you wish to call them, and blithe talk of “cultural proxies” is always a warning sign…for what is e.g. large scale monasticism (of men or women), with voluntary abstinence from reproduction, a “proxy” for – in socio-biological terms?); what about distinguishing between types of homicide…e.g. there is infanticide, which has been huge in India in the form of female infanticide, and is largely perpetrated by women-mothers…and in some cultures there is a lot of “honour Killing”, which typically involves not murder of sexual partner out of jealousy (crime passionel?) but murder of mostly female offspring/siblings for alleged disgrace to family social standing. Then we have military killings (which don’t count as homicide usually unless the killer “soldiers” are non-state actors.

  4. Whoever thinks women are incapable of violence or less prone to violence is either 1) not a woman or 2) has never watched lesbian porn or 3) both.

    Having said that, social exclusion strategies in an otherwise equalitarian-enforced environment is just as efficient (if not more) than physical violence.

    Speaking of which, there are great interviews of returning ISIS women, who worked as shariah enforcers. You wouldn’t imagine what a woman can do to her peers when given the authority to do so.

    Finally, closer to us, try ask any woman if she’d like to work in a woman-only workplace?

    • Jakob says

      What are you even talking about? Did you read the article at all?

  5. ga gamba says

    An interesting read. I wonder why two other theories were not mention.

    Firstly, the so-called ‘Warrior Gene’ (MAO-A gene), which resides on the X-chromosome. Because men have one copy of the X-chromosome, a variant that reduces the function of this gene has more of an influence on them. Women, having two X-chromosomes, are more likely to have at least one normally functioning gene copy, and scientists have not studied variants in women as extensively.

    Recent studies have linked the Warrior Gene to increased risk-taking and aggressive behavior. Whether in sports, business, or other activities, scientists found that individuals with the Warrior Gene variant were more likely to be combative than those with the normal MAO-A gene.

    Secondly, antisocial personality disorder, which used to be called psychopathy and sociopathy should not be ignored. This personality make-up is consistently documented more often in men versus women; in fact, the ratio has been as high as 20:1. Some research indicates the difference between men and women may not be in the existence of deceitful, manipulative, and exploitive personality traits but in the expression of them. Specifically, these researchers found that women may be more likely to express these personality deficits through behaviors that are typically associated with, and diagnosed as, other mental disorders or illnesses.

    We should keep in mind not all those with the warrior gene nor those who are psychopaths or sociopaths are violent criminals, though those with antisocial personality disorder are over-represented in prison inmates and the rate of recidivism is higher. Also, in certain contexts antisocial personality disorder focussed appropriately may actually benefit society.

    However, pre-existing paradigms that focus exclusively on external or learned etiology of antisocial behavior do not serve the public interest. We hear time and time again from some progressives and criminal reform activists that crime is due solely to societal forces that warp the poor individual. These arguments, which have been voiced for generations, are a form of gaslighting on a societal scale and only further endanger, injure, and kill innocents. By willfully ignoring internal etiology these progressives and activists are complicit in criminal activity.

    Where possible gene therapy or other treatments may mitigate the violence of Warrior Gene. Counseling of prisoners diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder has had mixed results; some alter their behaviour for the better but many take the socialisation skills learnt in therapy and use them to be better skilled manipulators.

    • Jakob says

      Honestly, what does this variance between male violence to do with what is discussed on the article, namely males being more violent than females and this violence being linked to reproductive success in many societies?.

  6. ga gamba says

    Are comments working? I submitted one, the submission completed, yet it’s not visible. Nothing offensive in it. If it’s awaiting moderation then a message ought to be presented. Nothing worse than typing a comment and have it disappear with no explanation given. It’s a good way to turn off readers.

  7. Interesting article, though something quite key is missing; a discovery which I’m sure the author would enjoy. In 2014, neuroscientists isolated a pathway that exists only in the male brain (cross-species, not just in humans) which is triggered by the presence of a recognisable female and inhibits aggression against them. [Yuan Q, Song Y, Yang C-H, Jan LY, & Jan YN, 2014]

    It’s arguably one of the most pivotal discoveries in human science since the DNA double helix, but made no news at all. Why? It is the key to understanding that violence between the sexes is not perpetrated by males naturally at all, but by females, and that contravenes an enforced modern narrative utterly.

    Violence is driven primarily by the hormone oxytocin in both sexes, but males and females direct their violence in different ways; males almost wholly against out-group males (99% of male interpersonal violence is directed at other males) but females primarily against their own partners (more than half of all female violence is partner violence alone) for mate control. Indeed, women naturally attack, abuse and murder men vastly more than the reverse and did so throughout history up until the birth of modern NGO industries that do the job for them. This tyranny has tilted murder stats (deliberately) to perpetuate funding to the NGOs themselves.

    • Thank you, for bringing some common sense and also an interesting insight to this!

  8. Anthropologist Douglas Fry argues, that “Naturalizing war creates an unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecy: If war is natural, then there is little point in trying to prevent, reduce, or abolish it.”

    Naturalistic fallacy right there?

  9. Andrew says

    There could be other drivers of violence, though, such as fighting strangers to protect mates and children, raiding other groups to steal resources, and even hunting. You would expect that these drivers would interact with mating competition.

  10. Thanks, daddyones45, now I understand the biological reason why the feminist victim narrative, seemed out of context with my life experience.

    I have worked in male only environments the entirety of my working life – military, oil rigs, fire department, construction – all the men I have known, would never physically harm a female, in fact, to be labeled an abuser, is the ‘end of you’ within the group.

    Despite, Hollywood and TV portrayals, of a beautiful physically fit female, trouncing a man who is the equivalent of a muscle-bound human gorilla… in the world, that I experienced, most men (if they care to think about it) know at a basic level, that if they were to unleash their full physical fury on the opposite sex, the consequences would be deadly for the victim – over many years in the fire department, I have personally experienced the full out assault by the opposite sex and the experience was little more than a nuisance.

    But… as listen to many young men as of late, they reject the masculine norms of my earlier life, as being archaic and false. They will go on shamelessly about sex differences being a social construct and that women have the same physical abilities as men – I dare not challenge these young men’s assumptions, as I am getting on in years and they would not hesitate to kick this old man’s ass. (Karma, I suppose, for partaking in the 60s revolution)

    The Bible, Shakespeare and other great literary works, are passé… become defunct, in this orchestrated, experimental assault on western culture, by an effete and comfortable elite, who by the way, have benefited in large part by the extreme violence the west has perpetrated on this pitiful globe, in the 20th century.

    Other cultures have memory and the west, if it so chooses, can breed out the warrior culture and suffer the consequences – ‘revenge of the cradle’ or be propagated out of existence.

    Simply put, defend your culture, or it will be taken from you – by coin or by force.

  11. “One study in Israel found that oxytocin may also increase feelings of envy and make it more likely for a person to gloat: not so lovey-dovey, that. Those researchers and others will tend to bristle at the suggestion of oxytocin as the “love hormone” or “hug hormone,” instead suggesting that what it may do is simply intensify the whole range of human emotions, not only the pleasant ones and not only feelings of love or sexual attraction. In all the actual scientific information we have so far on oxytocin, it’s clear it has just as much to do with fear and stress as it does with love.” https://io9.gizmodo.com/5606765/myths-about-the-love-hormone-oxytocin-that-could-ruin-your-love-life

  12. Mansacks says

    Sex driven violence is innate, the neuroscience shows how close sex and violence are in the male brain:


    What this shows is how retarded the current liberal/feminist stance is. Consent classes?!

    Seems to me that if you want to reduce male violence then keep access to pornography relatively easy and legalise prostitution.

    It’s all pretty logical as the studies show decline in violence when both are legal and easily available. The progressives of course still trying to insist correlation and causation are not the same in this instance.

  13. “Available data suggest that in countries with very low (and decreasing) homicide rates (less than 1 per 100,000 population), female victims constitute an increasing share of total victims and, in some of those countries, the share of male and female victims appears to be reaching parity.”

    The more we evolve (…commiting less violence) the greater the equality between the sexes.

  14. Phillip says

    This article is very disturbing.

    During the First World War, men were reluctant to join the armed services and the idea of shaming men into enlisting in the armed services emerged, The white feather brigade.


    One of the problems with today is judging the past from today’s morale’s and values.

    Another issue is that the current male prison population in Victoria. Is that up to 65% of the male prison population show signs of an acquired brain injury.


    Erin Pizzey proposes that children raised in violent abusive relationships, themselves can become violent.

    Examples of this can be seen when children exposed to war (Serbia) are adopted by well meaning American families. One case a family lived in fear of the Serbian boy they adopted. He threatened to kill them whilst they slept.

    • British Sitcom, “Chickens” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5rrN1iSq0U

      In August 1914, at the start of the First World War, Admiral Charles Fitzgerald founded the Order of the White Feather with support from the prominent author Mrs Humphrey Ward. The organization aimed to shame men into enlisting in the British army by persuading women to present them with a white feather if they were not wearing a uniform.

      This was joined by some prominent feminists and suffragettes of the time, such as Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel. They, in addition to handing out the feathers, also lobbied to institute an involuntary universal draft, which included those who lacked votes due to being too young or not owning property.

      • Phillip says

        There is an old black and white movie, called I think “The White Feather” where a man is handed a white feather, and he carries it with himself as he goes to war.

        I thought the white feather may have been fictitious, until I put the “White Feather” into a search engine and to my surprise I learnt about the white feather brigade.

        A scene from a fictitious movie “Captain America” sticks out and this is where Steve Rogers, dives onto a grenade, potentially sacrificing his own life so that others may live. This is significant in that during times of conflict, soldiers, sailors, airmen will risk their lives in order to protect the lives of their mates.

        In civilian life police and firemen risk their lives in their job. Even the ordinary every day male will at times risk their lives in order to save others. Such as the recent drownings of men who attempted to rescue children in trouble in the surf.

        If we look at the younger males, male children are much more likely to die or be injured by misadventure than female children.

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  16. Please note that the Chagnon article on the reproductive success of Yanomamo “killers” has been roundly rejected/critiqued/dismissed by Yanomamo specialists.

  17. DevochkaPripevochka says

    Bonobos are the least violent primates because they have a strict social system in which young males are kept in check by older females if they start to display aggression.

    The only way to end violence is to create a society in which there is zero tolerance for it and in which transgressors are severely punished/ostracized.

    • The thing that really strikes me here is the lack of ‘zero tolerance’ towards MALE victims of violence. If we were as horrified about a man being hurt as we seem to be about a young attractive woman being hurt then violence would stop overnight.

  18. Phillip says

    As a young fella, I meet WW2 veterans and being a mad keen war comic buyer, I was keen to find out how many of the enemy did they kill.

    Not a single one of them admitted to taking another human life, all they said was they point their rifle and fired the bullets.

    The old black and white news reels, capturing young men embarking onto ships, would promote the idea of young men going off to war as boys and returning as men. The news reels would later show the soldiers who survived, disembarking on stretchers, on crutches, heads bandaged, arms in slings. Minus limbs.

    Tom Cruise starred in “Born on the 4th of July” it shows war veterans being chauffeured in cars whilst the town celebrated the 4th of July, they would flinch every time a fire cracker went off and Tom Cruise after serving his time, is being chauffeured during the 4th of July Celebrations looks broken and he flinches as fire works explode around him.

    Young men and women can be trained to kill, but after the war or battle they are never the same person again. I understand after WW2 the elite commando’s had enormous difficulty returning to civilian life. Our own Vietnam Veterans or service men returning from the gulf war face enormous difficulties, with high rates of suicide, drug and alcohol abuse amongst them.

  19. Women commit less physical violence simply because they’re less physically capable of it.

    The extent to which they will use other men to inflict violence, will use institutions to inflict harm (arguably worse than physical harm, in most cases) and the way we deliberately ignore and dismiss such female-style aggression while highlighting and demonizing male aggression shows me we have a long way to go to combat violence in society.

    The step is a simple one. Instead of talking about, and posting articles about, how 90% of violence is by men and decrying ‘violence against women’, we need to shift perspective and talk about how 80% of violence victims are male.

    If we DOUBLED our concern about violence against men we’d still only have half the concern we have about violence against women.

    That should tell you something, and it ain’t “patriarchy”.

    By the way, the most violent of all relationships are lesbian.

    • … it seems to me that in order to reduce violence, you would want to look a the perpetrators (90% males) and not at the victims: even if 80% are males, they are not to blame for the crime, so this is besides the point.

      BTW, so is your last comment: surely you are not suggesting this 80% of male victims are victims of lesbians, or are you?

  20. Asking questions… a good question survives the answer. So I ask, why are we born prematurely? Meaning, what evolutionary purpose is there in our human biology, psychology, and sociology that posits our prolonged postnatal dependence? Thinking of zoologist Adolf Portmann and his “extrauterine development” and the exteriorization of our interiority. Is this dependance necessary to carry our dead, our ancestors, our unhealed tran-generatonal, epigenetically encoded complexes?

    • Jakob says

      The answer to that could be in humans unique ability of cultural learning. Meaning we are born with less ability to survive until we have learned enough cultural information packages of our respective societies.

      Cultural adaptions are the real strength of humans and explains our ability to survive and thrive in vastly different environments despite us not splitting up our species like other animals did.

    • Mariola says

      We are not born prematurely, ” the average newborn’s head circumference measures approximately 13 3/4 inches and grows to around 15 inches during the first month, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. ” if our head was any bigger it wouldn’t fit through the ” birth canal” also brain continues to develop after birth, that’s why – postnatal dependence.

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