Essay on Evolutionary Theory and Aggression

1872 Words Feb 10th, 2013 8 Pages
Examination of the Role of Evolution Theory in Predicting Criminal Behavior
Walden University
9/23/2012

Abstract
In this paper I will briefly describe the evolutionary theory in general, and specifically as it relates to the study of criminology. I will examine the ways in which natural selection has shaped the processes which motivate human behavior, especially in terms of how competing for limited resources and ensuring that one's genetic code is passed on are linked to aggressive behavior. Two crimes of which I have personal knowledge will be evaluated, with emphasis placed on the ways in which evolutionary theory may account for the aspects of criminal behavior in each. Finally, I will reflect on the ways in which
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Donna had filed a protection-from-abuse order a year before the assault, after Joe confronted and assaulted her for believing that she had been sleeping with another man. This order was broken several times before the stabbing took place, but Joe was quickly released each time. In my opinion, an evolutionary theorist would say that this act of violence was motivated by the fear of losing one’s mate, and therefore his means by which to reproduce. If this had occurred in our ancestral environment, the motivation may have been more necessary as males would be competing for a limited number of female mates, but this is certainly not the case today. Some other facts about Joe are that he was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and was not medicated because he could not afford his prescriptions. He had dropped out of school in 10th grade, leaving him limited employment opportunities, he was an active substance dependant, and he was raised in a single-parent household after his mother died in a car accident when he was 7. Joe's father left his other son (Joe's brother), who was only four years older, to take on the majority of Joe's upbringing from this point on. In my opinion, even though Joe may have had an innate drive to protect what he believed to be a threat to his mate, it was the lack of protective forces and the presence of a combination of criminogenic