2300 Words10 Pages
Evolutionary psychology is a field of study that has revolutionised how we understand human psychological systems and how they interact with social, cultural, and ecological factors to produce manifest behaviour. The main assumption of evolutionary psychology is that most human behaviours today, were once essential for survival and reproduction (Buss & Schmitt, 2011). Despite the fact that the world has changed, humans have still retained those behaviours (Cross & Campbell, 2011). Therefore, to understand modern crime, one needs to understand the contexts in which they evolved (Buss & Schmitt, 2011). For example, violence between men was once essential for acquiring resources, to make sure one’s genes were passed down, and to deter enemies (Goetz, 2010). Violence directed at women was caused by viewing the woman as a piece of property, and to prevent mate infidelity (Goetz, 2010). From an evolutionary perspective, rape and sexual assault were once necessary in order to obtain a mate and pass down genes (Archer, 2013). In addition, child sexual abuse can be explained by genetic unrelatedness or the proprietariness theory (Archer, 2013). Child physical abuse and neglectful parenting are explained by a lack of resources (Archer, 2013). Furthermore, prostitution, which dates back to our ancient ancestors, was a means of acquiring goods and services (Campbell, Muncer, & Bibel, 2001). Finally, anti-social behaviours such as stealing and drug-taking are to be viewed as a means to survive from an evolutionary perspective (Kacir, 2010). Although evolutionary psychology has been criticised for not having empirical evidence, many modern-day behaviours can be explained using the evolutionary perspective (Draper & Belsky, 1990). For example... ... middle of paper ... ...not going to jail), she would have felt remorse for her crime. In sum, evolutionary psychology seeks to explain modern-day behaviours as behaviours that were once essential for survival and reproduction. The fact that the world has evolved makes no difference as these behaviours are still present today. Violence between men, violence directed at women, violence and sexual abuse directed at children all served a purpose in the past. While these behaviours today are seen as maladaptive, unfortunately they still exist. With reference to Mary, the 16-year old girl with a history of abuse, prostitution, and drug taking, evolutionary psychology can be applied to her past, and her criminal behaviour, which has ultimately led to her current predicament. Evolutionary psychology can provide us with an explanation of why Mary is the way she is by examining our human nature.

More about essay

Open Document