OOP Survivor Blog

Four women and five children die every day in the U.S. due to domestic violence. Read President Barack Obama's Presidential Proclamation announcing his commitment to reducing the prevalence of domestic violence in our country.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What has evolution got to do with it?

Two U.S. researchers are trying to connect domestic violence to ancient origins while attempting to provide an evolutionary explanation for the root cause of violence. For example, they say that domestic violence "carries a selective advantage tied with reproductive success," and "jealousy is an adaptation to keep couples together."

I'm not sure I buy this research - their study results seem very simplistic and don't really achieve anything of great value when it comes to determining who might and might not commit acts of domestic violence, or what the root cause of such violence is.

The article announcing this research appeared yesterday in New Scientist. Critics are saying that this perspective will only serve to give people an excuse to commit violence. (Evolution made me do it!)

As someone who has experienced first hand the horrors of domestic violence, I don't think I'm all that interested in evolutionary biology to provide an explanation for why I experienced what I did. I don't believe that science particularly plays much of a role in the degradation, destruction, seemingly endless pain, gripping terror and emotional paralysis that domestic violence causes. As far as what causes domestic violence....that's completely out of the scope of a couple of evolutionary scientists.....

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