View Full Version : Why do men need war? It's male bonding

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006, 10:12 PM
Men need threats, rivalry and war for them to work together the most effectively, according to a study of the "male warrior effect".

The issue of why men start wars has been investigated in a series of experiments by Prof Mark van Vugt of the University of Kent. They reveal that conflict is part of male bonding.

"We all know that males are more aggressive than females but with that aggression comes a lot of co-operation," Prof van Vugt said yesterday. While male co-operation lies at the heart of democracy and leadership, and men work better in hierarchical groups than women, it is a double-edged sword.

"Men might need wars to show off their altruism, to be celebrated as warriors and heroes," the professor added.

Women in general are better at co-operating. "Women leaders are more dovish than hawkish," Prof van Vugt said.

In a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, Prof van Vugt and colleagues in Kent and at the University of Tilburg describe laboratory tests which show that rivalry drives males to make sacrifices for their group more than women.

The experiments involved about 300 students. Equal numbers of men and women were divided into groups of six who could only interact by computer.

They were each given £3 that they could invest for the group, when it would be doubled and divided equally among the group, or keep for themselves. Those who did not co-operate reaped the most benefit. They would end up with £3 plus any money divided among the group.

But when the group was told it was competing with other universities, "it was the men who started to be very altruistic and invest in the group fund. The women were less sensitive".

This "male warrior effect" is consistent with findings from other disciplines.

"Men are more likely to support their country going to war," Prof van Vugt said. "Men are more likely to lead groups in more autocratic, militaristic ways.

"Men have evolved a psychology that makes them particularly interested, and able to engage, in warfare."

Similar behaviours can be seen in a "pristine primordial form" in chimpanzees, he added.

"They go out on raids into neighbouring communities and kill off members of rival groups." Aside from warfare, the males do not usually co-operate, the professor said.

Source (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/09/nscience09.xml)

Gorm the Old
Friday, September 15th, 2006, 04:39 PM
And then there's the Archie Bunker theory. When Archie's daughter Gloria voiced her concern about over-population, Archie "comforted" her with these sage words. "Don' you worry about a t'ing, little goil. Whenever da woild gets over-populated, God in his infinite moicy, gives us wars."

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007, 09:51 PM
And then there's the Archie Bunker theory. When Archie's daughter Gloria voiced her concern about over-population, Archie "comforted" her with these sage words. "Don' you worry about a t'ing, little goil. Whenever da woild gets over-populated, God in his infinite moicy, gives us wars."
That's not only Archie's theory, it is one of Malthu's theories too. Malthus roughly said that resources (food, minerals, etc.) increase much slower than population, and therefore famine, pests and wars are authomatic and natural ways of controlling overpopulation. Actually, some tribes in Papua-New Guinea are conscious malthusians, because when they notice their tribe is growing too much they start a war against neighbouring tribes in order to get more resources... and to diminish a bit their population. It's no mere coincidence that wars are started in bad times for a population, as usually those bad times involve lack of enough resources.
Of course, this kind of theories always have its detractors. Many like to say that all those natural catastrophes which are to control population actually make population grow. The examples they show are generally the Baby-Boom after WWII and some countries in Africa and Asia which have the biggest growing rates despite civil wars, bad crops, droughts, etc..
I'm personnally with Malthus, but the others arguments can't be thrown away just like that, it would be very intersting if someone knows of any research on the field.
Going back to why males are nate warriors, I think that can be explained because mother nature doesn't overcharge womens with dutties. Consider that womens carry babies before they are born and then feed them and take care of them; so if they also have to go to war who will care the new generations... let's suppose men. Now, we know that one men can be with several women and therefore there will be more babies. But no matter how many men a single woman is with, only one men will give her descendance; so if women are killed in warthere will remain very few and that means very few babies, thus creating a risk for the subsistence of the population. In reality, men are killed in war because you need few men to be with women in order to procreate a new generation. That's why Nature programmed us in that way, there's no machism nor feminism, only common sense.

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007, 09:23 PM
its natural selection played out via political alliances and capitalist/communist industrialist bullshit.

Nothing to do with testosterone.

Death and the Sun
Friday, July 27th, 2007, 07:01 PM
It's male bondiiiiiinngg !!!


Friday, July 27th, 2007, 10:31 PM
It's male bondiiiiiinngg !!!


Laugh if you want, but 300 apart from wether it was well or bad filmed, rescued that epic feeling absent from cinema in a long time. Actually when I want to see epic movies I usually look for old classic movies like those megaproductions like Ben Hur or The 10 Commandments. Maybe the last good war movie was A Bridge Far Away, they focus on heroism rather than drama and bloodbaths (that canbe funny but no more than that).
You can argue that the actual history was fake, I also doubt that only 300 men stopped for a long time a much bigger army of thousands of troops, but even as a legend it has a certain appeal and a moral lesson.
And now we touched the Spartan issue, it'd be interesting to analyze Spartan women: they made sacrifices for their people (let's leave away Leonidas' wife and her "sacrifice":D), the famous phrase they told their boys when going to war ("Come back with your shield or over it") is a cruel but altruistic and silent suffering in favour of their nation. It's told that once a herald told a Spartan mother her son died in combat; she showed no emotion and asked "Did we win?", "Yes" said the herald, "Then his death wasn't in vain". I heard a similar phrase in modern times from a mother as well, so that's not privative of Spartans perhaps. Where's the sacrifice you may say? In offering their most valuable possesion for a cause in which they now he may die, it's not the same to hear "I'm proud of my son because although we lost, he's a hero" rather than "Why did they took it from me?!".

Saturday, July 28th, 2007, 07:02 AM
dammit. Must see "300" soon.