Pleasure and Pain yAs with people who don t read enough so ifou read it s well worth The Mountain and the Valley your time A long and thoughtful book with the takeaway that giving women control over their reproductive choices will solve world problems than pretty much anything else Yes that simpleOther things I learned War terrorism and chimpanzee attacks are all basically the same thing and are called team aggression against an outgro Sex and War is about wait for it wait for it sex and war In this book the authors attempts to prove that all our violent tendencies were inherited from way backonderI really enjoyed reading this book It was a fast and interesting and as such I feel rather bad at giving it three stars I couldn t give it because the research was just terrible It s so utterly terrible that it makes the read of this book so fun I kept thinking what batshit crazy thing are they going to throw out nextThe authors never really explain the stances they take They ll start a topic of discussion and throw out really random and useless bit of information that everyone probably knows already such as men are violent than women Really Didn t know that That s for informing me and then they ll say really off the wall before moving on There isn t a whole lot of actual scientific information in this book It s almost totally anecdotal information It s mostly a authors state what they believe b give proof in random and generally known stories c throw in some really wild idea that is not supported by the above and never discussed again afterward before they d give Zero Option (Geordie Sharp, you such an extreme and insane example of t I read this for an essay on new books about violence This one left me underwhelmed The authors argue that violence is the result of male efforts to reproduce women of course are empathic and peaceable Unfortunately Potts and co author Hayden seem not to have read some important books about violence eg Dave Grossman s On Killing or fully digested certain lines of research into male violence as a result they make some sweeping and debatable generalizations about the roots and persistence of violence For example at one point they looking at rising firing rates through fiftyears of US warfare and suggest that this is the result of the increasing otherness of America s enemies but that fails to take into account the evolution of the American military s training techniues Plus were the Vietnamese actually other to black white and Latino US soldiers than Japanese They also seem to have missed the main thrust of research by Robert Sapolsky and Sarah Blaffer Hrdy and they totally ignore research that might contradict their case such as work by Douglas Fry Joan Roughgarden or Frans de Waal All in all a weak effort The thesis of this book co authored by Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden is summarized thus Page 2 This book is about war It is about terror and cruelty and the biological origins and long brutal vicious and destructive history of "organized aggression perhaps most importantly it is not "aggression Perhaps most importantly it is not about the depths to which human beings can sink but also how we came to be this way and what we can do about it In short the book addresses the human nature of violence why it came about and what tools might be available to us to reduce the carnage coming from our evolutionary background Up front I will simply note that there is not much in this book that is new Arguments such as this have been around for some time What is positive about this book is that it is well written and accessible to wider audiences than some of the academic works As one example of d j vu Potts and Hayden argue that having women in positions of power would likely reduce state created warfare and violence The argument follows from the arguments presented but Glendon Schubert made a similar argument a decade and a half ago I did not see Schubert s work mentioned although I could have missed the relevant footnote there are over 500 after all The book provides a perspective based on reproductive success being the key to evolutionary change and the understanding of what behaviors any species deploys Among humans team aggression groups of males working together and reproductive success are linked to make
#Intergroup Violence A Default #violence a default for humans The book notes the analogy with intergroup violence among Pan troglodytes the chimpanzee humankind s closest relatives in nature further suggesting an evolutionary background to this behavior The chapter titles summarize key points made We band of brothers human males bond with one another in warfare and cooperate to protect one another Terrorists Women and war Raids into battles War and the state War and technology War and the law Evil The Future of war Women and peace and Stoner age behaviors in the twenty first century The last chapter explores what might be done to reduce the extent of human violence and warfare On page 368 some suggestions are summarized in a table Among these increase the number of women in parliaments and legislatures empower women including preventing unwanted pregnancies ensure universal science education encourage knowledge of history and evolution maintain a free media and don t supply potential enemies with weapons Would some
combination of these actually work That s a good uestion I am not so optimistic but the listing and the discussion of these actually work That s a good uestion I am not so optimistic but the listing and the discussion these in the final chapter at least gets readers to reflecting on the subject If that leads to broader discussion whatever the reader thinks of the book s arguments then it has made a contribution. Er conditions that favored gang behavior rape and organized aggression Drawing on these new insights they propose a rational plan for making warfare less freuent and less brutal in the futureAnyone interested in understanding human nature warfare and terrorism at their most fundamental levels will find Sex and War to be an illuminating work and one that might change the way they see the world.
Malcolm Potts ↠ 5 DownloadEd cognitively to nameless targets And the authors correctly point out that rarely in history have women been combatants and shows the sexual links here My sense is these ideas are generally correct but not ground breakingThe middle section is scattered without a central focus but it allow the authors to show off their extensive knowledge of how sex and biology and war interrelate with government religion crime technology slavery and disease and so forth And here the author s world wise expertise and wide ranging knowledge shows to good effect The book meanders into their thinking of how to avoid war and prevent terrorism which offers some worthy points but which tend to be somewhat left leaning feminist oriented somewhat naive For example in a sidebar entitled How to make peace break out the authors recommend education for women increasing feminine representation in legislatures encouraging birth control abortion unwanted pregnancies encouraging scientific education These are worthwhile proposals which may indeed help lessen the chance of war and reduce a long term risk of terrorismBut here the authors have wandered into a problem which they think they understand but don t They think they ve figured out how to prevent terrorism They don t I do But don t take my word Judge for ourself Check out my book on It s Common Sense II How to Prevent the Three Types of Terrorism It prevents smuggled nuclear bombs and all other types The PottsHayden book doesn t Theirs is a typical mistake made by intellectuals who think they can apply their far reaching and considerable expertise to a dangerous problem but their expertise blinds them and they fail to think through the problemRegarding the title Sex and War is there a titillating title How long did they take to dream this up Two seconds The title writers no doubt watched the movie Bonnie Clyde and know Americans love sex and violence and wow this stuff sells And the combination of an academic authority with a journalist is a good one Together they re the Dr Phil of primate biology wagging fingers at men behaving badly entertaining women except both have hair After all aren t women the ones who buy books today It reads well entertains but the book could have been focused tighterStill this book is a worthwhile read enlightening will be helpful to students of biology and war and primatology and anthropology and will be uoted by feminists ad nauseum I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in history sociology psychology economics and biology It is the most complete explanation of warfare I ve ever read The first few chapters seem like misandry but the authors make a convincing argument that men not women are biologically programmed to compete for resources such as land food and women The examples of primitive aggression are violent gross and upsetting The good news is that our world has become significantly less violent since the enlightenment The bad news is that science has enabled an entirely new level of violence with weapons of mass destruction The authors are optimistic that we can be smarter than our ancestors Men can choose to stop abusing women for hegemony stop blindly adhering to religious doctrine allow women control of their reproduction and start reacting to threatening situations with judiciousness and less bravado After all men don t really want to kill each other as this example from Chapter 4 proves After the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg in which 7000 men "died and 33000 were wounded 27574 muskets were picked up from battle Ninety "and 33000 were wounded 27574 muskets were picked up from battle Ninety were loaded and one musket had twenty three powder charges and pieces of shot How many men were killed before they could pull the trigger and how many could not bring themselves to fire on an enemy that had been until the start of war part of their national ingroup This is a careful work in evolutionary psychology It makes the case that same species outgroup team aggression by males is an inherent characteristic of Homo sapiens It spends a lot of time comparing this phenomenon in humans with a similar phenomenon reported in chimpanzees It also contrasts the human phenomenon with the much pacific bonobo to make the case that there are things humans can do to mitigate this response A major mitigating response to our tendency to go to war is to empower women in a variety of ways Another is to reduce population growth so that a society s population demographic has a higher percentage of older people and a lower percentage of oung adult males The book does not deny the importance of culture though it does a good job of torpedoing the Social Science Standard Model caricature Personal anecdotes by the main author do a
good job of adding a sense of concreteness to the argumentsjob of adding a sense of concreteness to the arguments the thesis nor the synergy is new The authors acknowledge that the book is a followup to Demonic Males I would also add that Homicide by Martin Daly and Margo Wilson also add to the arguments made here All and all this is a book that social scientists interested in this subject need to read it should also say Thomas Hayden wrote this I did a fellowship with him last Summary year He s obviously at least partly responsible for this thoughtful read It s interesting the link they propose between women and ending warfare I won t spoil it forou but I can think of another very different book I read about the roots of violence that failed to address women intelligently at all so this was really refreshing I ve had some great discussions about this book s ide. Ld As a scientist and obstetrician Potts has worked with governments and aid organizations globally and in the trenches with women who have been raped and brutalized in the course of war Combining their own experience with scientific findings in primatology genetics and anthropology Potts and Hayden explain war’s pivotal position in the human experience and how men in particular evolved und. The big idea of this book is that human evolutionary biology helps explain why human beings almost alone in the animal kingdom organize groups that go out and intentionally kill other members of our species But this doesn t mean we are condemned to fight each other endlessly in fact there are a few major things we could do to stop global violence such as giving people access to family planning all around the worldThe authors one of whom is my husband journalist Thomas Hayden draw on evidence and examples from history animal behavior studies and personal experience to make their case and the lively broad ranging nature of their discussion is the real strength of the book The authors visit all kinds of places in world history from chimpanzee raids in Africa to family planning clinics in Bangladesh and the battlefields of ancient Greece They use their case studies and examples to argue
that human males have a genetic predisposition to engage in what they call team aggression the destructive behavor thathuman males have a genetic predisposition to engage in what they call team aggression the destructive behavor that lead to war and terrorism But the authors are not genetic determinists they do not believe this means men must always behave this way They acknowledge that men inherit other competing drives as do women and that by giving women a larger voice in society we can moderate the violence That s the link to family planning without the ability to decide when to have children the authors argue it s difficult for women to play an eual role in their families and communities It s an interesting and provocative argument And I found some of the book s examples of the destabiliing effects of unchecked population growth very telling for instance in the recent eruption of violence in Kenya But whether ou agree or disagree with the authors ideas the book is a fascinating read thanks to its wealth of examples and its engaging reasonable tone I wish there were books like this adventurous and well written integrating all kinds of information from so many areas of human knowledge and applying them to seemingly intractable problems I know I m biased but Tom is a seriously talented writer and he has done a beautiful job with this book And his coauthor Malcolm Potts is venturing into territory broached by far too few scientists by trying to synthesize his own expertise with other types of human knowledge to better understand the world Together they have written a far reaching and engrossing work that will change the way ou think about humanity From an interview with the author in Shambhala Sun on FacebookWomen will fight very bravely if they or their children are threatened but we could not find a single example in the whole of human history where women have banded together spontaneously and systematically and deliberately gone out to kill other human beingsHow do reproductive rights play a roleWe must have energetic efforts to support reproductive autonomy When women can control their own fertility family size begins to fall As family size falls education and development increase as does the advancement of women s role in society Throughout the world there is plenty of demand for family planning on the part of women but the evolved male drive to control female reproduction often stands in the way Male theologians male legislators and conservative male doctors create and maintain the barriers to family planning All in all then energetic efforts at empowerment of women will mitigate the effects
of the warring nature we have inherited Peace breaks out when womenthe warring nature we have inherited Peace breaks out when women control over their bodies and influence in their societies Sex and War is an insightful look at male humans behaving badly in sex and war particularly fun to read if Night Without Stars you re a guy into history and war and sex But I wouldn t characterize this book as groundbreaking but rather as a helpful reminder of our evolutionary ancestry and an intelligent rehashing of some fairly widely accepted ideas At times it overreaches claiming to offer a solution to the problem of terrorism and while it provides some helpful thinking as well as possibly helpful foreign policy suggestions this book does not offer a path to a safer world as the subtitle promisesThe authors build from a model of chimp aggression showing how bands ofoung male chimpanzees raid rivals territories and how this is beneficial biologically They build on a Darwinian model of survival of the fittest successful gangs get to promulgate their seed whether by raping conuered women or surviving to inseminate women from their own tribe The authors extrapolate from chimp to human behavior to tribal war to street gangs to large scale warfare with underreported systemic raping to suicidal terrorists What s fun is watching the authors try to maintain a neutral academic tone when describing battles and raids and other guy stuff neutral academic tone when describing battles and raids and other guy stuff their affection for this stuff keeps bursting through This is a masculine book but with a pro feminine agenda The authors notice over population is often a factor in war particularly when there are surplus numbers of oung unemployed males This leads them later to suggest that helping unstable nations lower their birth rates through planned parenting birth control and abortion would have a long term positive effect in reducing the risk of war and terrorism They have a pointAnd the authors have a good handle on why men go to war why they re willing to risk death on distant battlefields how courage glues them to defend their buddies how it becomes permissible to kill enemies of an out group because they ve been reduc. As news of war and terror dominates the headlines scientist Malcolm Potts and veteran journalist Thomas Hayden take a step back to explain it all In the spirit of Guns Germs and Steel Sex and War asks the basic uestions Why is war so fundamental to our species And what can we do about itMalcolm Potts explores these uestions from the frontlines as a witness to war torn countries around the wor.