Article

The Male Warrior Hypothesis: The Evolutionary Psychology of Intergroup Conflict, Tribal Aggression, and Warfare

Mark Van Vugt

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

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199738403
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199738403.013.0017

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The Male Warrior Hypothesis: The Evolutionary Psychology of Intergroup Conflict, Tribal Aggression, and Warfare

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Social science literature abounds with examples of human tribalism, which is the tendency to categorize individuals on the basis of their group membership and to treat ingroup members benevolently and outgroup members malevolently. I argue that this tribal inclination is an evolved response to the threat of coalitional aggression and intergroup violence that were endemic in ancestral human environments (and are still common today). Here I hypothesize that intergroup conflict has profoundly affected the psychology of men, in particular—the male warrior hypothesis—and present evidence consistent with this hypothesis. I also discuss implications of this hypothesis for managing intergroup relations in our society.

Keywords: warfare; intergroup relations; sex differences; social identity; coalitional aggression

Article.  7320 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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