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Is aggression in man Adaptive - Essay Example

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Question: E. O. Wilson wrote: "Is aggression in man adaptive From the biologist's point of view it certainly seems to be." (p. 126, Reader) Explain Wilson's sense of (human) adaptation and elaborate on whether it is the same as animal aggressive adaptation except involving weapons.
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Is aggression in man Adaptive
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Download file to see previous pages Upon sensing them, they are refined through internal adjustments brought about by learning and hormonal changes. Aggression then is actually an action driven by a programmed set of chemical responses within the body that prepares an animal to the actual or impending threat.
There are eight forms of aggression according to E.O. Wilson. Territorial, dominance, sexual, parental disciplinary, weaning, moralistic, predatory, and anti-predatory aggression, are mechanisms by which animals improve their fitness for survival and reproduction (1980, p.118). For example, by demonstrating territorial aggression, an animal will protect his both habitat and his family.
These programmed biological responses to various environmental threats bear high levels of heritability, according to the researches made by E.O. Wilson, which builds up its genetic nature and provides proof that aggressive behavior is adaptive. Furthermore, some species' aggressive behaviors are "specialized, stereotyped and highly predictable" (1980, p.122). This further validates aggression's adaptive nature.
Humans face the same forms of aggression and, basically behave aggressively as those of animals. A human father is also protective on his house the same way as a lion is to his territory. He can become violent to a point that he would kill someone if he witnesses a thief stealing properties in his house. This is one a "fight or flight" response of humans to adverse conditions.
Humans are also wary about the "external environmental contingencies," such as "encounters outside the group, food, crowding, seasonal change" (Wilson 1980, 122-123). Wilson provided an analogy between an experiment of overcrowded of cats and rats to that of people in concentration and prisoners-of-war camps wherein overcrowding caused both mentioned animals and humans to behave aggressively to each other during extreme conditions (1997, p.127). When experiencing stressful and threatening conditions, humans and animals share the same reactions.
Humans also have the internal mechanisms as that of animals that results to aggressive behavior. Both have the capabilities to retain previous experiences in their brains. Though there are differences in the effects of hormonal secretions for different animals, specifically vertebrates (as in the different reactions of estrogen to different species) hormones are still responsible for the aggression of both animals and humans. A good example of this is epinephrine, a hormone that triggers the fight-or-flight response in humans.
Moreover, the two modes of competition suggest that animals have devised diverse ways to gain advantage of others. While direct aggression, being the first mode, can accomplish this goal, some species executes some ways to mutually repulse each other. Some species of ants use organizational techniques in order to win the competition (Wilson, 1980). Humans have usually been engaging in competition both by direct aggression and by mutual repulsion. Many of our activities are competitive in nature and participants herein use aggression in a productive way to dominate their rivals.
However, though humans experience the same inputs that causes aggression and share the same internal mechani ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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