Abhi Yerra's Reviews > Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence

Demonic Males by Richard W. Wrangham
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Demonic Males goes through the genealogy of male violence in apes. The authors study our closest relatives the chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos. Violence is built into the males of all three and all three handle violence in different ways. Chimps and Gorillas have violence built into their societal structures, whereas bonobos treat everything with more sexuality.

This lineage translates to humans and though there may be dreams of peaceful matriarchal societies most human societies are patriarchal and there is a lot of induced violence. A lot of this violence even appears in societies that seem to be relatively peaceful. The authors point that this has to do with in-group, out-group relationships. When you are in a group you will defend that group and when you are out of that group the violence against them is distant. Example include lynching mobs in the south which included many normal and nice people. When they were part of the in-group they fit with the group’s dominance structure.

The problem is that group violence can turn extreme and genocidal. Are we humans equipped to deal with our demonic nature when we have such weapons as we do now.

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Reading Progress

April 12, 2017 – Started Reading
April 12, 2017 – Shelved
April 22, 2017 – Finished Reading

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