Sociobiology Essay

Sociobiology Essay-33
Further developments in the 1980s allowed evolutionary biologists to model more complex social dynamics (e.g., Axelrod and Hamilton, 1981; Maynard Smith, 1982; for a fuller treatment, see the entry on biological altruism).

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Meanwhile, many sociobiology supporters, including Thornhill and Palmer (2000), maintain that rape is about sexual desire, and claim that the social sciences lack merit in their research on rape because their theories do not consider the evolutionary causes of human behaviour (p. As this essay will demonstrate, both cultural and evolutionary forces have been shown to have considerable effects on the occurrence of rape.

Therefore, I argue for an integration of both approaches in order to successfully understand and thus potentially prevent and eradicate rape.

If male aggression is genetically fixed and reproductively advantageous, critics argue, then male aggression seems to be a biological reality (and, perhaps, a biological ‘good’) about which we have little control.

This seems to be both politically dangerous and scientifically implausible.

A second criticism concerns genetic determinism, the view that many social behaviors are genetically fixed.

Critics of sociobiology often complain that its reliance on genetic determinism, especially of human behavior, provides tacit approval of the status quo.Nevertheless, this survey reconstructs sociobiology in its best light, according to its .Consequently, criticism of sociobiology as it is actually practiced is not ignored or dismissed.The question, then, is this: Is Darwinian theory an appropriate framework for understanding human sociality?Or ought we to adopt some kind of ‘disconnectionism,’ the view that human behavior is best studied apart from evolution?(1975) as the application of evolutionary theory to social behavior.Sociobiologists claim that many social behaviors have been shaped by natural selection for reproductive success, and they attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary histories of particular behaviors or behavioral strategies.In a series of theoretical papers in the 1960s and 70s, evolutionary biologists cleverly showed that natural selection would in fact favor behaviors that the reproductive fitness of their actors, provided that close relatives sufficiently benefit (Hamilton, 1964; see also Trivers, 1974).Those models were later expanded to show how altruistic behaviors could evolve among unrelated organisms within social groups (Trivers, 1971; Hamilton, 1972; Maynard Smith, 1974).For example, evolutionary biologists have been long puzzled by cases of apparent altruism in certain animal societies: sterile workers in insect colonies, warning calls, resource sharing, and many others (see Darwin, 1859, pp. Such behaviors appear to incur a cost to the cooperating or altruistic organisms, which would seem to make them impossible to evolve by natural selection.To explain the existence of altruism, sociobiologists first articulated the conditions under which altruistic behavior might be advantageous.


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