Biology Does Not Make Men More Aggressive Than Women
III. Institutional Is Different from Individual Behavior Page 3

Title Page

I. Introduction
Page 1

II. A Politically Useful Myth
Page 2

III. Institutional Is Different from Individual Behavior
Pages 3 - 4

IV. Male Animals Are Not consistently More Aggressive Than Females
Pages 5 - 6 - 7

V. The Complex Relation of Human Aggression to Animal Aggression
Page 8

VI. Conclusion
Page 9

Page 10

Underlying the Seville Statement on Violence is the assumption that institutional behavior is quite different from individual behavior. This assumption is contained in the Lagerspetz conclusion; "Collective behavior never results from one type of motive only on the individual level." The confusing of institutional and individual behavior is a common error among people who argue that human behavior is biologically determined. A particularly good treatment of this problem may be found in the recent book by Seville signatories Jo Groebel and Robert Hinde concerning the issues raised at Seville (Groebel & Hinde, 1989).

I have presented evidence elsewhere to show that the remarkable gender specificity of warfare is due to institutional considerations that are only remotely related to biology (Adams, 1983a). To put the argument most simply, male monopolization of warfare arose to resolve a contradiction between the institution of marriage and the institution of warfare. In cultures with patrilocal marital residency and internal warfare, such as probably prevailed in prehistoric times, there is a potential conflict of interest for a woman warrior: should she take sides with her husband and his relatives on one side of the war, or support her fathers and brothers on the other? Under such conditions, every married woman becomes a potential traitor to her husband's side. Male monopolization of warfare was probably instituted in order to protect male warriors against betrayal by their wives and to resolve the conflict of interest of the women themselves.

Evidence supports this hypothesis. Cultures in which no conflict of interest would be expected to arise, those with matrilocal marital residency or exclusively external warfare, have permitted women warriors in a number of cases. On the other hand, in none of the cultures surveyed have women warriors been permitted in societies where such a conflict of interest could arise.

One must assume that in the earliest societies, when war and marriage first arose, there would have been a tendency (not a monopolization) for more male than female warriors. Such a tendency can be easily explained by the obvious fact that a woman who is several months pregnant or nursing a baby cannot go on the long marches which war often requires.

(Continued on next page)

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