Friday, June 27, 2014

Criminal Behavior and Evolution

Glenn Reynolds posts the following:

"EVOLUTION IN ACTION, “Convicted criminal offenders had more children than individuals never convicted of a criminal offense. Criminal offenders also had more reproductive partners, were less often married, more likely to get remarried if ever married, and had more often contracted a sexually transmitted disease than non-offenders. Importantly, the increased reproductive success of criminals was explained by a fertility increase from having children with several different partners. We conclude that criminality appears to be adaptive in a contemporary industrialized country, and that this association can be explained by antisocial behavior being part of an adaptive alternative reproductive strategy.”"

This is hardly new, however. As Napoleon Changnon notes in his book Noble Savages, about a primitive Amazonian tribe:

"The more interesting finding has to do with the comparative reproductive success of unokais and non-unokais. It should be intuitively clear that if unokais are more successful at acquiring wives, they are likely to have more children as well....

...Unokais have three times as many offspring as non-unokais."

Unokais are "killers of men". Chagnon observes:

My article also raised the possibility that human violence had something to do with the evolved nature of Homo sapiens."

Indeed.

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