The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War

The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War

by Todd K. Shackelford
     
 

The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War synthesizes the theoretical and empirical work of leading scholars in the evolutionary sciences to produce the first extensive and authoritative review of this literature. The handbook includes chapters on intimate partner violence, child abuse, sibling violence, suicide, adolescent

Overview

The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War synthesizes the theoretical and empirical work of leading scholars in the evolutionary sciences to produce the first extensive and authoritative review of this literature. The handbook includes chapters on intimate partner violence, child abuse, sibling violence, suicide, adolescent bullying, sexual abuse, religious terrorism, animal cruelty, and several chapters addressing human and non-human intergroup aggression and war. This breadth of coverage is unique, and ensures that the handbook provides essential reading for students and researchers in the fields of psychology, anthropology, criminology, sociology, ethology, biology, and behavioral ecology.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The authors provide theoretical paradigms to explain various forms of violence in an easy-to-read book that will appeal to a wide audience." — DOODY'S

"In The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and
War, editors Todd Shackelford and Viviana Weekes-Shackelford have delivered an extremely strong volume, rich in content and ripe for these times—one is duly impressed by the magnitude of this accomplishment. The editors have recruited many of the leading lights of the field to prepare definitive reviews in their areas of special interest. This is a book that will be read profitably and with pleasure by several large cohorts of scholars and enthusiasts. It is not written just for those who are drawn to evolutionary psychology. Students and authorities in psychology, anthropology, criminology, political science, and peace and conflict studies will find a veritable cornucopia of empirical information." —PsycCRITIQUES

"In sum, The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War represents a top-rate book that should grace the bookshelf of any academician interested in the evolutionary underpinnings to violence. Without a doubt, the chapters will incite debate, foster future research, and perhaps most importantly will inspire future students to pursue evolutionary perspectives in their own areas of interest." — Evolutionary Psychology

"...We get a huge and comprehensive survey across the whole field of violence: between relatives, between fellow group members and, in times of conflict and war, between different societies or cultures. There is material from every perspective, from those who are totally sold on the approach to those who are still very wary about whether evolutionary studies can really pay dividends. One of the things I liked actually was the modesty of many of the contributors, confident that they had things of real value to say and report, but very much aware that the real tasks lie ahead not behind.There is material here for much discussion and the pity would be if people thought the book is of value only to a narrow group working on specific issues to do with violence. Particularly striking is the extent that so much material bears on male-female differences." — Michael Ruse, Philosophy, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida,

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, PsyD (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book uses evolutionary concepts to better understand violence in society and families. A collection of international experts explores war, intimate partner violence, child abuse, and animal cruelty.
Purpose: It is intended to synthesize "the theoretical and empirical work of leading scholars in the evolutionary sciences to produce the first extensive and authoritative review of the literature."
Audience: The audience includes "students and researchers in the fields of psychology, anthropology, criminology, sociology, ethology, biology, and behavioral ecology."
Features: The book begins with an introduction to the evolutionary perspective, which encompasses a series of evolved psychological processes adapted from the basic problems of finding food and shelter, finding a mate, procreation, and confronting predators. The book then examines family violence including intimate partner violence, especially men's violence against women, filicide, and child abuse. Part three explores violence outside the family, and includes a chapter on sexual offending, which considers whether rape is a function of adaptation or a byproduct of other adaptations. The issue of aggressive women is addressed, which can be attributed to fear, anger, and/or female competition. Animal cruelty is discussed in terms of dirty play, frustration and anger, and male aggression. The book suggests that war can be explained by the "male warrior" hypothesis, because of an extensive history of male-to-male conflict. A feminist evolutionary view of war looks at male dominance to accumulate resources as a key factor. The book ends with future directions for understanding violence. It discusses the prevalence of violence in literature and the question of why religion is not effective in decreasing wars and homicide. Finally, the authors put forth the idea that a solution to violence begins with each individual, an attitude that will eventually permeate society as a whole. The chapters are organized in a fairly uniform manner and the book contains both a short table of contents and an extended table of contents. There are very few tables and figures, though they are very helpful in clarifying the text.
Assessment: The authors provide theoretical paradigms to explain various forms of violence in an easy-to-read book that will appeal to a wide audience.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199738403
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/20/2012
Series:
Oxford Library of Psychology Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
576
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Todd K. Shackelford, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of Psychology at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Much of his research addresses sexual conflict in humans, including violence, rape, and homicide.

Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford, Ph.D., is Special Lecturer in Psychology at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Her research focuses on conflict in parent-child and other familial relationships.

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