Evolutionary Forensic Psychology: Darwinian Foundations of Crime and Law

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The field of forensic psychology explores the intersection of psychology and the law. The purpose of this book is to examine topics in the field using the powerful, multidisciplinary, conceptually integrated approach that the natural sciences have embraced for decades with great success.

Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is the meta-theoretical framework that unifies the field of biology. It unites research and understanding of the development, control, and organization of behavior. The study of humans, which includes all of the social sciences, is part of the field of biology. Darwin's theory provides a powerful meta-theoretical framework that can unify and energize forensic psychology, just as it has the biological sciences.

Evolutionary processes undoubtedly shaped physiological characteristics to help solve problems of survival and reproduction. The lungs, for example, with their vast surface area and moist membranes are marvelous adaptions for extracting oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. Natural selection is the only known process capable of shaping complex functional mechanisms. Just as it shaped physiological adaptations with specific problem-solving functions, it also shaped our thoughts and emotions to guide behaviors toward solving recurrent problems of survival and reproduction. With this logic, we can use knowledge of ancestral problems to guide our understanding of how the mind works.

Evolutionary Forensic Psychology is a necessary step toward a unified and complete understanding of psychology and the law. It recognizes that crimes such as murder, non-lethal violence, rape, and theft are manifestations of evolutionarily recurrent selection when they gave individuals an advantage in competition for resources. Each of the chapters that comprise this volume has been selected to provide the first unified examination of important research contributions and future directions of Evolutionary Forensic Psychology.

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Editorial Reviews

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"...skillful and scholarly...This book will be of interest both to academic researchers and practicing professionals in the fields of criminal law, criminology, forensic psychology, and corrections."—International Journal of Emergency Mental Health
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195325188
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/20/2008
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Introduction and Overview

1 Evolutionary Forensic Psychology Todd K. Shackelford Shackelford, Todd K. Joshua D. Duntley Duntley, Joshua D. 3

2 The Promise of Evolutionary Psychology for Criminology: The Examples of Gender and Age Anthony Walsh Walsh, Anthony Kevin M. Beaver Beaver, Kevin M. 20

Pt. 2 Adaptation and Violent Crimes

3 The Origins of Homicide Joshua D. Duntley Duntley, Joshua D. David M. Buss Buss, David M. 41

4 Intimate Partner Violence Aaron T. Goetz Goetz, Aaron T. Todd K. Shackelford Shackelford, Todd K. Valerie G. Starratt Starratt, Valerie G. William F. McKibben McKibben, William F. 65

Pt. 3 Adaptation and Sex Crimes

5 The Evolutionary Psychology of Sexual Harassment Kingsley R. Browne Browne, Kingsley R. 81

6 Evolutionary Psychological Perspectives on Rape William F. McKibben McKibben, William F. Todd K. Shackelford Shackelford, Todd K. Aaron T. Goetz Goetz, Aaron T. Valerie G. Starratt Starratt, Valerie G. 101

7 The World's Oldest Profession: Evolutionary Insights into Prostitution Catherine Salmon Salmon, Catherine 121

Pt. 4 Adaptation and the Production of Criminal Behavior

8 Risk-Taking, Antisocial Behavior, and Life Histories Sandeep Mishra Mishra, Sandeep Martin L. Lalumiere Lalumiere, Martin L. 139

9 Theft Satoshi Kanazawa Kanazawa, Satoshi 160

10 In Cold Blood: The Evolution of Psychopathy Martin L. Lalumiere Lalumiere, Martin L. Sandeep Mishra Mishra, Sandeep Grant T. Harris Harris, Grant T. 176

Pt. 5 Victimsof Crime

11 Victim Adaptations Joshua D. Duntley Duntley, Joshua D. Todd K. Shackelford Shackelford, Todd K. 201

12 The Evolution of a Sense of Justice Dennis L. Krebs Krebs, Dennis L. 230

Pt. 6Applications and Future Directions

13 Reducing Crime Evolutionarily Lee Ellis Ellis, Lee 249

14 Did the Victim Deserve to Die? Darwin Goes to Court 268 J. Anderson Thomson Jr. Thomson, J. Anderson, Jr.

Author Index 287

Subject Index 301

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