The Behavioral Ecology of Male Violence

Source: Quillette

  • Globally, men are 95% of homicide offenders and 79% of victims. Only in countries with very low (and decreasing) homicide rates female victims constitute an increasing share of total victims.
  • Violent conflict is more likely to reduce a female’s fitness, bringing unnecessary danger to her offspring, or cause an injury that may prevent her from reproducing. For a male, violent conflict can potentially increase his reproductive success through increases in status, or by monopolizing access to key resources.
  • There are other factors where we see an association with lethal conflict, such as the link between polygyny and war. Terrorist organizations have exploited marriage inequality among young males for recruits. When some males monopolize access to wealth or mates, young males who are left out may behave violently to try and distinguish themselves, competing for control of such resources.