The evolutionary view states that all aggressive behavior is a product of genetic programming and inheritance. Every individual is genetically programmed to maximize their fitness. There are two ways 1) reproducing and generating 2) by avoiding predation or by being successful predator. There are many types of aggression. Male on female aggression – the men uses the violence to keep the women faithful to him. Miller study show that 55 % of battered wives perceived jealousy as reason for husband’s behaviour. The implication is that 45% of women reported that there was no jealousy so other factor must contribute. This explanation is reductionist , because it assumes that there is only one cause.
Shackeford investigated the relationship between a women’s age , her husband’s age and the risk that he will murder het. This study found that older man are more likely to kill the younger women. The implication of this is that younger women are more fertile therefore more desirable. From evolutionary theory point of view this iis a product of men’s evolved sexual proprietaries.
A second evolutionary explanation of human aggression is the evolution of homicide. One cause of aggression could be a lack of resources. Daly and Wilson carried out a study in Brazil and found that approximately 40% of victims and killers were men that were unemployed and around 70% of male victims and killers were not married. So, the inability to attract a long term partner and a lack of resources appears to lead to social competition and therefore aggression.
A second cause of aggression could be status. In the EEA, we used to live in small groups and status was very important. A loss of status could have had catastrophic results on reproductive potential and resources. Although this is not the case now, the gene may still exist, so there has been a genome lag which is causing aggression in humans. However, human aggression focuses too much on the male aspect. Society has changed and therefore the evolutionary explanation may not seem to be as relevant in modern day society.
This explanation could be seen as reductionist because it doesn’t explain how females act when they feel jealous. It emphasizes the aggression of men , but does not discuss female aggression in detail. The methodology of the research can be questioned. As questionnaires and surveys were used, the participants may not always speak the truth. Some may lie to avoid confrontation from their partner. They may receive further abuse from male if he finds out.
This explanation of human aggression may not always explain cultural differences. Some cultures do not feel the need of being aggressive and therefore don’t show signs of human aggression. Whilst other cultures may believe being violent can help a male feel dominant. Therefore, the results cannot be applied to all cultures so not generalisable due to cultural differences that arises between different cultures and countries.
The evolutionary explanation can explain why individuals tend to show signs of aggression, this can help people who may feel that another individual is in an aggressive relationship by showing signs highlighted by the male, of an aggressive manner. So the explanation can be applied to real life, and help women in aggressive relationships, who receive violent abuse from males. Homicide doesn’t have much adaptive value. Duntley and Buss say that once anti-homicide defences begin to evolve, homicide becomes a far more costly strategy to pursue. As a result of this, the evidence is supported that homicide is a extreme form of aggression, but not an adaptive response to dealing with the problem in question.
Evolutionary explanation is a nature theory because whole process is driven by evolution. We could argue that it is deterministic because our behaviour is determine by evolution. It is reductionist , because it seems to explain all behaviour as maximising fitness. On the other side it is not completely reductionist because it have more than one explanation of aggression; male on famele, jealousy. There is no many cross cultural research .
However this theory expect that there are no cross cultural difference. The implication of this is that culture is reflection of evolution. From the psychodynamic point of view there may be conflict between id and ego. This explanation appears to be scientific, because it talks about gene, but do not specify the gene. Some people claims that this theory is not scientific approach as it is non-flausible. Something that cannot be proven is not scientific.