Aggression and Peacefulness in Humans and Other Primates by James Silverberg, J. Patrick Gray

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By James Silverberg, J. Patrick Gray

This booklet explores the position of aggression in primate social structures and its implications for human habit.

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Extra resources for Aggression and Peacefulness in Humans and Other Primates

Sample text

We therefore correlated Sanday's (1981) "Female economic and political power or authority scale" with Ross's scores on several variables. Surprisingly, we found no relationship between Sanday's scores on amount of female power and level of either internal or external violence. Further, female power did not correlate significantly with either affectionate or harsh socialization practices, nor with the degree of male gender identity conflict. Our failure to find significant correlations between these variables may be because Sanday's scale measures female power using both economic and political factors.

VIOLENCE AND PEACEFULNESS AS BEHAVIORAL POTENTIALITIES OF PRIMATES 13 locations within a hierarchy of rank. Thus "juvenile male," "female infant," "preschooler," are all statuses. We use rank to refer to the superordination (dominance) or subordination (submission) of one animal vis-a-vis another. When status is used inconsistently, both as a synonym for rank or prestige and as the label for types of social positions, ambiguity often results. Note, however, that once statuses are clearly identified as social units, it is valid to discuss if and how particular statuses are ranked or ordered in a hierarchy.

Strum and Latour's mention of social awareness identifies our third theme: the role that dominance relationships play in the social awareness of primates. As VIOLENCE AND PEACEFULNESS AS BEHAVIORAL POTENTIALITIES OF PRIMATES 19 Bernstein (1981) and many others note, just because human observers can place animals in a dominance matrix does not mean that the idea of relative or absolute rank influences the behavior of individual animals. A consistent pattern of wins and losses, which an observer can summarize as a dominance hierarchy, can be obtained if animals operate without being aware of a hierarchy or being motivated to attain or maintain high rank.

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