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Research to date has focused on fitness costs that coalitional aggression imposes on men and how these may have shaped male cognitive design. This study investigated whether warfare may have shaped female cognitive design by identifying fitness costs that lethal raiding imposes on women and determining how widespread these fitness costs are across a sample of forager and forager-horticulturalist societies. To this end, archaeological and ethnographic accounts of lethal raiding were used to generate a list of fitness costs suffered by women in warfare. Five costs were identified: woman killed, woman captured, offspring killed, mate killed/captured, and adult male kin killed/captured. A cross-cultural sample of forager and forager-horticulturalist oral traditions was then surveyed for the presence of these costs. Results suggest that lethal raiding has recurrently imposed fitness costs on women, and that female cognitive design bears reexamination in terms of the motivational and decision-making mechanisms that may have evolved in response to them. This study differs from previous studies of lethal raiding by addressing the lack of comparative research on the fitness costs of warfare for women, by examining a wider range of fitness costs, and by using oral tradition as a database.
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1 Article T itle Fitness Costs of Warfare for Women
2 Article Sub- T i tl e
3 Article Copyright -
Springer Science+Business Media New York 2 014
(This will be the copyright line in the final PDF)
4 Journal Nam e Human Nature
Correspondi ng
Family Name Sugiyama
6 Particl e
7 Given Name Michelle Scalise
8 Suffix
9 Organizati on University of Oregon
10 Division Department of Anthropology and Institute of
Cognitive and Decision Sciences
11 Address Eugene 97403, OR, USA
12 e-mai l
Recei ved
14 Revi sed
15 Accepted
16 Abstract
17 Keywords
separated by ' - '
Warfare - Lethal rai ding - Forager oral tradition - Women’s evolved
18 Foot note
Fitness Costs of Warfare for Women
5Michelle Scalise Sugiyama
#Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014
Abstract Research to date has focused on fitness costs that coalitional aggression
10imposes on men and how these may have shaped male cognitive design. This study
11investigated whether warfare may have shaped female cognitive design by identifying
12fitness costs that lethal raiding imposes on women and determining how widespread
13these fitness costs are across a sample of forager and forager-horticulturalist societies.
14To this end, archaeological and ethnographic accounts of lethal raiding were used to
15generate a list of fitness costs suffered by women in warfare. Five costs were identified:
16woman killed, woman captured, offspring killed, mate killed/captured, and adult male
17kin killed/captured. A cross-cultural sample of forager and forager-horticulturalist oral
18traditions was then surveyed for the presence of these costs. Results suggest that lethal
19raiding has recurrently imposed fitness costs on women, and that female cognitive
20design bears reexamination in terms of the motivational and decision-making mecha-
21nisms that may have evolved in response to them. This study differs from previous
22studies of lethal raiding by addressing the lack of comparative research on the fitness
23costs of warfare for women, by examining a wider range of fitness costs, and by using
24oral tradition as a database.
25Keywords Warf a re .Lethal raiding .Forager oral tradition .Wom e nsevolved
If they catch a man and his wife at some distance from the village, they will more
31than likely take the woman after they kill her husband (Chagnon 1997:190).
As long as there have been wars, women have suffered as a result of them. The
34Kutchin tale of Atsunve graphically illustrates this point. In the story, the Eskimo attack
35a big Kutchin camp, killing everyone but Atsunve, an attractive young girl. According
36to one variant, the Eskimo marry her to two brothers, and she soon has a baby. The
37summer after her capture, the Eskimo attack the Kutchin again and return with a
38canoe-load of Indiansheads(Slobodin 1971:293), including the heads of her
Hum Nat
DOI 10.1007/s12110-014-9216-1
M. S. Sugiyama (*)
Department of Anthropology and Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences, University of Oregon,
Eugene, OR 97403, USA
JrnlID 12110_ArtID 9216_Proof# 1 - 22/09/2014
39brothers. Atsunve hides her rage and encourages the village to have a big feast, play
40games, and conduct kayak races so that everyone will be exhausted and sleep soundly.
41That night, she slits her husbandsthroats as they lay sleeping and cuts holes in all the
42kayaks except the fastest, in which she escapes, leaving her infant behind. She travels to
43another band of her tribe members and marries two young men. Together, they
44assemble a war party and raid the Eskimo camp. When they arrive, they find her dead
45infant hanging from a tree, and kill everyone in the camp. As a result of lethal raiding,
46then, Atsunve has lost her band, her brothers, her infant, and in the case of her first
47marriage, the ability to have any say in who fathers her children.
48Atsunves losses suggest that intergroup aggression imposes potentially heavy
49fitness costs on women, but to date little attention has been paid to these costs,
50let alone the ways in which they might have shaped female cognitive architecture.
51Recent evolutionary models of intergroup aggression characterize it as a behavior that
52resulted from selection forces operating on males (e.g., Tooby and Cosmides 1988;
53Wrangham 1999;cf.Bowles2009, who is silent with regard to gender). This study
54does not dispute the claim that, in humans, the capacity for intergroup aggression was
55selected for in males. Rather, it proposes that once this capacity evolved, the resultant
56behavior may have exerted selection pressure on females. It addresses this question by
57surveying forager and forager-horticulturalist war narratives to identify recurrent fitness
58costs experienced by women in the context of lethal raiding. Although modern forager
59and forager-horticulturalist life does not exactly parallel that of our ancestors, there are
60important similarities between them: a dependence on foraging for all or part of
61subsistence, small natural-fertility populations with low population density, and a lack
62of telecommunication, motorized transport, and Western medicine (Lee and DeVore
631968; Marlowe 2005). Thus, warfare practices among recent forager and forager-
64horticulturalist societies can potentially illuminate the costs women faced in ancestral
65environments. Warfare is defined here as an interaction in which members of one
66social group cooperate in threatening, chasing, striking, wounding, or killing at least
67one member of another(Manson and Wrangham 1991:370).
68Oral traditions were used for the study because, as data sets accumulated over
69generations, they span a broad time period, which makes them well-suited for delin-
70eating longitudinal patterns in lethal raiding. In contrast, ethnographic field studies are
71typically of a few monthsor yearsduration and thus may offer few opportunities to
72observe raiding at first hand. Although they represent an emic perspective, forager war
73narratives are widely alleged to present accurate descriptions of traditional raiding
74practices. For example, Opler claims that Jicarilla Apache war stories follow so
75closely the warfare and raiding practices of the Jicarilla that they will serve as
76invaluable documents with which to illuminate an ethnological account(1938:v; see
77also Parsons 1929:xviii). Similarly, the Tanaina tell stories that are historical accounts
78of events that occurred in the wars with the neighboring Yupik Eskimos(Tenenbaum
79and McGary 1984:7). Likewise, Rink claims that many Eskimo stories are rooted in
80historical fact, referring to conflicts and meetings of the Eskimo with the Indians,
81which in recent times have still taken place on the banks of the Mackenzie and
82Coppermine Rivers(1875:109; see also de Laguna 1995:289). Correspondences
83between oral accounts and the ethnographic record are so numerous that LeBlanc
84and Register (2003) argue that oral tradition may be useful in reconstructing the
85methods and tactics used in precontact tribal warfare. In sum, although it would be
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86stretching the bounds of credulity to assert that all of these war narratives reference
87specific battles, there is considerable evidence that these narratives reference real-world
88raiding tactics. The findings reported here are thus grounded in the premise that these
89war narratives document actual warfare practices, regardless of whether they document
90actual warfare events, and thus constitute a supplementary source of cross-cultural data
91on lethal raiding.
93To test the hypothesis that lethal raiding exerted selection pressure on ancestral women,
94archaeological and ethnographic accounts of forager and forager-horticulturalist lethal
95raiding were used to generate a list of losses suffered by women in warfare. This list
96was narrowed to losses that occur cross-culturally and impose clear-cut fitness costs.
97Five such losses were identified: woman killed, woman captured, offspring killed, mate
98killed/captured, and adult male kin killed/captured. A description of these casualties
99and their potential fitness costs, along with representative examples from the archae-
100ological and ethnographic records, is presented in the next section.
101Next, a cross-cultural sample of 45 forager and forager-horticulturalist oral traditions
102was surveyed for references to each of the five casualties. To assemble the study
103sample, MurdocksEthnographic Atlas (Murdock 1967) was searched for forager
104societies. The basis for inclusion of a culture in the sample was a combined score of
106measured in Table A of the Atlas).
A stricter criterion of 100% dependence on
107gathering, hunting, and/or marine animals would have greatly reduced the sample size
108for the regions of East Eurasia, Insular Pacific, South America, and parts of North
109America, and it would have excluded forager-horticulturalist societies. The survey
110yielded 206 culture groups in 83 culture clusters from five of Murdocks six geograph-
111ical regions (the Atlas contains no forager groups from the circum-Mediterranean).
112When a cluster contained more than one culture group, one culture group was chosen at
113random for the study sample. A library search was conducted for comprehensive
114collections of that cultures folklore (e.g., Crow+texts). If none were found,
115another culture was chosen randomly from that cluster, and the search process repeated.
116Collections were found for 45 of the 83 culture clusters (Table 1).
117In assembling the sample, precedence was given to collections of (a) field-recorded
118texts (b) told by indigenous informants (c) to social science professionals and (d) aimed
119at presenting a representative sample of tales from a given culture. An exception to this
120is Giffords(1936) collection of Yavapai tests, which contains only war tales. When no
121collections meeting at least three of these criteria were found for a given culture,
122another culture was chosen at random from the same cluster and the search process
123repeated. Some collections were distributed over multiple volumes (e.g., Jacobs 1939,
1241940). The number of stories in the collections ranged from 13 to 364, with only five
125containing fewer than 20 stories (when a collection contained variants, each variant was
126counted as a separate story). The study sample is biased toward North American
The Atlas may characterize some cultures, such as the Sanema/Yąnomamö, as having a greater dependence
on foraging than has been documented by subsequent research.
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t1:1Tab l e 1 Folklore collections in study sample by culture cluster, culture group, and geographic region
t1:2Culture Cluster Culture Group Geographic Region Collection
t1:31 Mbuti Sub-Saharan Africa Turnbull 1959
t1:42 San Sub-Saharan Africa Lewis-Williams 2000
t1:5154 Yukaghir East Eurasia Bogoras 1918
t1:6157 Ainu East Eurasia Batchelor 1924,1926
t1:7229 Ngarluma & Jinjiparndi Insular Pacific von Brandenstein 1970
t1:8230 Warlpiri Insular Pacific Rockman and Cataldi 1994
t1:9237 Mimika Insular Pacific Offenberg and Pouwer 2002
t1:10 278 Nunamiut N America Ingstad 1987
t1:11 279 Iglulik N America Rasmussen 1929
t1:12 280 Naskapi N America Millman 1993
t1:13 281 Micmac N America Rand 1894
t1:14 282 Ojibwa N America Jones 1917
t1:15 283 Beaver N America Goddard 1916
t1:16 286 Ingalik (Tena) N America Chapman 1914
t1:17 287 Tanaina N America Tenenb aum and McGary 1984
t1:18 288 Tlingit N America Swanton 1909
t1:19 289 Tsimshian N America Boas 1895
t1:20 290 Kwakiutl N America Boas 1895
t1:21 291 Nootka N America Sapir and Swadesh 1939
t1:22 292 Twana N America Elmendorf 1993
t1:23 293 Chinook N America Boas 1894
t1:24 294 Coos N America Jacobs 1939
t1:25 295 Karok N America Kroeber and Gifford 1980
t1:26 297 Maidu N America Dixon 1912
t1:27 299 Yokuts N America Gayton and Newman 1940
t1:28 300 Tubatulabal N America Vogelin 1935
t1:29 304 Owens Valley Paiute N America Steward 1936
t1:30 306 Yavapai N America Gifford 1936
t1:31 308 Klamath N America Gatschet 1890
t1:32 309 Nez Perce N America Spinden 1917
t1:33 310 Coeur dAlene N America Reichard 1947
t1:34 311 Thompson N America Teit 1898
t1:35 313 Blackfoot N America Grinnell 1892
t1:36 314 Teton N America Deloria 1932
t1:37 315 Crow N America Lowie 1918
t1:38 316 Kiowa N America Parsons 1929
t1:39 320 Menomini N America Bloomfield 1928
t1:40 327 Jicarilla N America Opler 1938
t1:41 364 Yanomamo C/S America Wilbert and Simoneau 1990
t1:42 367 Warao C/S America Wilbert 1964
t1:43 390 Yamana C/S America Gusinde 1977
t1:44 391 Selknam C/S America Gusinde 1975
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127forager groups (see Table 1). This is largely due to historical happenstance: early
128Western anthropological investigation of forager cultures focused extensively on
129North American groups. As a result, the representation of forager cultures in the
130Ethnographic Atlas is geographically biased, and this bias carries over into the study
131sample. Owing to the language constraints of the investigator, only collections available
132in English were used, which may have introduced further bias into the study sample.
133Content analysis of the study sample was conducted manually by the investigator.
134Casualties were coded as presentor not presentin a collection: if a story contained
135multiple instances of a given casualty, only one was counted. Because the loss of adult
136male offspring imposes two fitness costs (loss of offspring and loss of protector/
137provider), this occurrence was counted as an instance of both Offspring Killed and
138Adult Male Kin Killed/Captured. A search of a given collection was discontinued as
139soon as one story referencing one or more of the casualties was encountered. Thus, the
140study likely underestimates the extent to which women incur fitness costs due to lethal
142Fitness Costs of Warfare for Women: Review of the Archaeological and Ethnographic
144This section reviews evidence from the archaeological and ethnographic records that
145forager and forager-horticulturalist women, their mates, and close kin were often
146casualties of war. This evidence was used to generate the list of casualties used for
147content analysis of the study sample. Each casualty type is discussed in terms of its
148potential fitness costs for women.
149Woman Killed The most obvious cost of warfare is death, the fitness consequence of
150which is termination of the victims reproductive output and investment. Additionally,
151although data are limited and there is no consensus on the amount of allomothering
152provided by females in hunter-gatherer societies (Konner 2010), forager women are
153known to help each other with child care (Hewlett 1991) and to provision their close
154female relatives in times of need (e.g., Tonkinson 1978:37). Thus, the death of a
155woman in warfare may result in the loss of alloparental investment for her female kin
156(e.g., mother, aunts, sisters). The archaeological record contains abundant evidence that
157reproductive-age women were killed in attacks. The people of the Kachemak Tradition
158(1500 BCAD 1000), who lived in the Kodiak Archipelago and adjacent regions, are a
159case in point. Several sites on Kodiak Island contain remains of women and children
160that show evidence of perimortem dismemberment, cutting, breakage, and drilling
161(Simon and Steffian 1994:97). The Saunaktuk site (AD 1370±57) contains the remains
162of 35 Inuit women, children and elderly people. These remains exhibit signs of
t1:45 Tab l e 1 (continued)
Culture Cluster Culture Group Geographic Region Collection
t1:46 394 Mataco C/S America Wilbert and Simoneau 1982
t1:47 396 Chamacoco C/S America Wilbert and Simoneau 1987
t1:48 401 Bororo C/S America Wilbert and Simoneau 1983
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163decapitation, skinning of the head, the severing of hands and feet, dismemberment, and
164extraction of marrow from long bones (Melbye and Fairgrieve 1994; Walker 1990).
165And at Crow Creek on the upper Missouri (ca. AD 1325), hundreds of peoplemen,
166women, and childrenwere massacred and their bodies dismembered (LeBlanc and
167Register 2003).
168The ethnographic record tells the same story. For example, Burch reports that in a
169series of raids and counter-raids, the Koyukon killed everyone in an Inupiat village
170while the men were out hunting except for two women who were originally from their
171village. When the hunters returned, they found the corpses with their genitalia cut off
172and strung out on a line(1998:99). The Inupiat retaliated by killing everyone in the
173Koyukon camp except for two elders and the same two women. Among the Dusun of
174Borneo, raiders took heads and hands as trophies. An analysis of thirty-five trophy
175skulls at the village of Sensuron indicated that much recent head-hunting warfare was
176directed against the aged, adolescents, and females; at least half of the skulls were
177female(Rhys Williams 1965:67). Tribes of the American Southeast also killed women
178in warfare: in an address to the Choctaw and in talks with other tribes, Shawnee chief
179Tecumseh advocated for the abandonment of the Indian custom of killing women and
180children in war(Halbert and Ball 1969:44).
181Woman Captured Women were often taken as captives in warfare and typically forced
182to marry their captor or another man in the enemy group. According to Maschner and
183Reedy-Maschner (2007:39), all Arctic and subarctic forager groups that were involved
184in warfare took women as war trophies. For example, the hostilities described above
185between the Koyukon and the Inupiat were spurred by the capture of two women, and
186in the series of reciprocal revenge raids that ensued, these two women were repeatedly
187captured by each side (Maschner and Reedy-Maschner 2007:37). The taking of female
188captives is well-documented throughout the region, from the Tlingit (McClellan
1891975a:519, 1975b:202) to the Yellowknife (Gillespie 1981:286; Helm 1981:294), the
190Aleut (Veniaminov 1984; Lantis 1970), and the Alutiiq (Davydov 1977:188; Osgood
1911966:109113, 183; Oswalt 1979:244245). This practice was by no means limited to
192Arctic or subarctic climes. It has also been documented along the Pacific Northwest
193Coast (de Laguna 1972:583) and in South America and Australia. For example, in a
194survey of 11 South American tribal societies, Walker and Bailey (2012:32) found that
195in a total of 131 internal warfare events, 76 women were captured, and in a total of 56
196external warfare events, 33 women were captured. According to Chagnon, all
197Yąnomamö women fear being abducted by raiders and always leave the village with
198this anxiety at the back of their minds when their village is at war(1997:126). Among
199the Warramunga and Waringari of Australia, enemy women were stolen whenever
200possible: If they were able to surprise the enemy camps and kill or drive off the men,
201they carried away any women they found(Meggitt 1962:38).
202The capture of women is frequently mentioned as a motivation for raiding (e.g.,
203Chagnon 1997; McClellan 1975a,1975b; Osgood 1970:86). For example, among the
204Kaska, a primary reason for waging war was a desire to steal women(Honigmann
2051981:447). Similarly, Wheeler (1910) reports that the motives given for intra- and
206intergroup fighting among various Aborigine groups across Australia are women,
207murder . . . and territorial trespass(118/139; cited in Gat 2006:21). In a survey of
208rewards warriors might expect to receive from participating in lethal raiding, female
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209capture was mentioned in 7 out of 20 small-scale societies (Glowacki and Wrangham
2102013), and in a tally of motives for killings in South American tribal societies,
211acquisition of captive women and children accounted for 7% of responses (Walker
212and Bailey 2012:31).
213Capture can affect womens fitness in a number of ways. First, in societies where
214females have some say in whom they marry, marriage or concubinage by capture
215circumscribes female mate choice, as does rape. For example, among the Yąnomamö,
216A captured woman is raped by all the men in the raiding party and, later, by all the
217men in the village who wish to do so but did not participate in the raid. She is then
218given to one of the men as a wife(Chagnon 1997:190). In societies where parents or
219other kin have the greater say in whom a girl marries (as is the case in the majority of
220forager societies; see Apostolou 2007), female capture deprives the girl and her family
221of a valuable opportunity to expand their social network and reap the associated
222benefits (for the obvious reason that enemies are not viable exchange partners). For
223example, the girl and her parents cannot expect to secure marriage partners for her
224siblings from among her husbands kin. Additionally, a woman may be treated with
225hostility by her captors group members, perpetually regarded as an outsider and
226excluded from the circle of mutual aid that characterizes forager bands. Furthermore,
227unlike a woman who is freely married to a man from another band, a woman captured
228by the enemy cannot make periodic visits to her family or call upon them for assistance.
229Also, when a woman is captured her children are typically left behind; captivity thus
230terminates her ability to invest in her existing offspring and defend their fitness
231interests. For a nursing infant, separation from a captured mother means almost certain
232death. For this reason, during times of war, Yąnomamö women take their young
233children with them when they leave the village, so that if they are abducted, the
234childs future will not be put in jeopardy because of the separation of the mother
235(Chagnon 1997:126). As we will see, this tactic can backfire. Finally, as with death,
236capture removes a woman from her group and is thus likely to impose fitness costs on
237any females for whom she provided allomothering assistance.
238Offspring Killed As the plight of nursing infants suggests, another potential fitness cost
239of warfare for women is loss of offspring. Sites such as Kodiak Island, Crow Creek, and
240Saunaktuk (described above) offer incontrovertible evidence that children were not
241spared in warfare. This evidence accords with the ethnographic record: children have
242been documented as victims of warfare across a wide range of forager and forager-
243horticulturalist habitats and cultures, from the Amazon Basin (Walker and Bailey 2012)
244to the Arctic and subarctic (Maschner and Reedy-Maschner 2007) to Southeast Asia
245(Rhys Williams 1965). This record documents the massacre of entire villages (Burch
2461998:99), the taking of childrens heads as war trophies (Rhys Williams 1965:67), and
247the summary killing of the children of women captives. This last practice is described
248by Helena Valero, a Brazilian woman captured by the Yąnomamö: Then the men
249began to kill the children; little ones, bigger ones, they killed many of them. They tried
250to run away, but they caught them, and threw them on the ground, and struck them with
251blows which went through their bodies and rooted them to the ground. Taking the
252smallest by the feet, they beat them against the trees and rocks(Biocca 1970:36).
253Children were also lost through capture. For example, along the Pacific Northwest
254Coast, neighboring tribes were raided for the express purpose of acquiring slaves, with
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255both adults and children being taken (McDowell 1997; Maschner & Reedy Maschner
2562007). Capture deprived children of the investment and protection of their close kin and
257made them vulnerable to victimization by their captors, which in turn could lead to
258death. For example, Chagnon describes a raid in which a Yąnomamö headman was
259killed and his ten-year-old son abducted. The boy was later shot by a man who couldnt
260stand to see the boy persecuted and tormented by the other children (1997:189). Loss of
261children to capture could be considerable. For example, among the Ache of Paraguay,
262for all age groups except unweaned children, most deaths(including individuals who
263were captured and never seen again) were caused by raids and warfare, and for infants
264and children, being captured accounted for about one-fourth of all deathsto both
265sexes(Hill and Hurtado 1996:163).
266Mate Killed/Captured The loss of a husband means the loss of an important
267protector. On this point, we would expect a captured womans husband to be
268involved in any attempt to rescue her (this information was noted in the survey;
269see Results). Additionally, the loss of her mate inflicts potentially profound
270nutritional deficits on both the woman and her dependent offspring. Because in
271many forager societies men provide the bulk of protein and calories in the diet
272(Kaplan et al. 2000;cf.Hiatt1978), the wounding, death, or capture of her
273mate in warfare is likely to substantially reduce a womans nutritional intake
274and that of her offspring. This loss is poignantly expressed in a !Kung story
275about woman whose husband is accidentally killed while hunting: my children
276grow ugly [thin]. For their father used to bring them good things. They ate fat
277when their father was alive(Lewis-Williams 2000:64). Lowered nutrition, in
278turn, jeopardizes the health of a woman and her children by impairing pathogen
280Adult Male Kin Killed/Captured As with the loss of a mate, the loss of a father, uncles,
281adult sons, brothers, and/or male cousins (often classificatory brothers) reduces the size
282of a womans core support network, which is an important source of protection and
283provisioning. For example, a Yąnomamö woman can usually depend on her brothers
284for protection. They will defend her against a cruel husband. If a man is too severe to a
285wife, her brothers may take the woman away from him and give her to another man
286(Chagnon 1997:125).
287The protection afforded a woman by her male kin is attenuated in groups that
288practice patrilocal marriage, but the frequent between-band visiting characteristic of
289forager groups goes a long way toward maintaining the bonds of reciprocity between
290biological kin. The Tareumiut and Nunamiut are a case in point. In their Arctic habitat,
291resource failures were common, and kin-based assistance was the main coping strategy.
292Children were taught the names and appropriate kinship terms for all relatives who
293were obligated to help them and who they were obligated to help in return. This
294network encompassed three levels of kinship affiliation: the nuclear family, extended
295family, and regional group (Minc 1986). Given the degree to which foragers depend on
296the sharing of large game to manage variance in male hunting returns (Kaplan et al.
2972000), the loss of multiple adult males in warfare would potentially compromise the
298nutritional and health status of all women and dependent offspring in the band, as well
299as their extended cooperative network.
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301As Table 2shows, the majority of the collections (82%) contain a story in which at least
302one casualty type is referenced. Results are discussed below by casualty.
303Woma n Kill e d Stories that referenced the death of at least one woman in warfare
304occurred in 44% of collections. Given their value as wives, it is surprising how often
305women are killed rather than captured in warfare. One explanation is that women slow
306the pace of retreat, thereby making their captors vulnerable to a retaliatory attack before
307they reach the comparative safety of their home territory. Women may also be killed in
308order to eliminate the source of future enemy warriors, as among the Mundurucu
309(Durham 1976). Finally, in some habitats, the killing of enemy women may be an
310indirect attempt to kill enemy males. This is evinced in the practice by some Arctic and
311subarctic peoples of killing all the women in a village while the men are away hunting.
312Survival in such a harsh climate required a two-person team who divided daily life
313tasks between them; thus, the continued survival of an individual who lost a spouse was
314uncertain at best. This is reflected in a Nunamiut story in which Kobuk raiders kill all
315the Colville River women, and in retaliation, Colville River raiders kill all the Kobuk
316men. The Colville River men decide to take the Kobuk women as wives: We cannot
317live otherwise, so let us . . . take wives from among the Kobuk people’” (Ingstad
319Woma n C a p ture d Stories that referenced female capture occurred in 49% of collec-
320tions. Only actual capture incidents were recorded; stories in which a man unsuccess-
321fully attempted to rape or carry off a woman were not counted. For example, the
322Yamana tell of an ogre who falls in love with a woman and tries to seduce her. When
323she rebuffs his advances, he threatens to kill her. He recruits some of his clansmen to
324attack her, but she successfully defends herself against them (Gusinde 1977:179). Rape
325was subsumed under the Capture of Woman or Death of Woman category. This is
326because most women who are captured are forced into marriage or concubinage and, in
327instances where women are raped but not brought into the tribe, they are usually killed.
328A case in point is a Netsilik story that tells of two women who are abducted by
329unspecified Indians while out gathering fuel. The women are taken to the Indian camp,
330where they are gang raped: allthemenlaywiththem...andperformedcoitionas
332of a high cliff. . . . A man seized one of the women and threw her down the cliff so that
333she fell into the fire(Rasmussen 1931:126). The second woman meets the same fate.
334Oral tradition reveals effects of warfare on women that are largely invisible in the
335archaeological and ethnographic records. For example, a woman may be treated as an
336outsider by her captors group members and excluded from the cooperative network.
337This predicament is referenced in a story about a Sioux girl captured by a Crow man to
338replace his daughter who has recently died: he took this child and returned to Crow-
339land with it. There the man formally adopted the child in place of the lost one, and
340lavished much affection on her(Deloria 1932:269). However, the rest of the band was
341not so kind: they ridiculed her and, when she married, her sisters-in-law and her
342mother-in-law continually referred to her as that Dakota womanin an unkind tone
343(Deloria 1932:269). When her adoptive father dies, she resolves to return to the Sioux
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t2:1Tab l e 2 References to figness costs of warfare for women in forager oral tradition
t2:2Culture Group Woman
Wom a n
Mate Killed
or Captured
Male Kin Killed
or Captured
At Least 1 Type
of Casualty
t2:4San X X X X X
t2:5Yukaghir X X X
t2:6Ainu X X X X X X
t2:7Ngarluma/Jinjiparndi X X X
t2:8Warlpiri X X X X
t2:9Mimika X X X
t2:10 Nunamiut X X X X X X
t2:11 Iglulik X X X X X
t2:12 Naskapi
t2:13 Micmac X X X X X
t2:14 Ojibwa
t2:15 Beaver X X
t2:16 Ingalik (Tena)
t2:17 Tan ai na X X X X X
t2:18 Tlingit X X X X X X
t2:19 Tsi ms hi an X X X X
t2:20 Kwakiutl
t2:21 Nootka
t2:22 Twana X X X X X X
t2:23 Chinook X X X X
t2:24 Coos X X X X X
t2:25 Karok X X X X X
t2:26 Maidu
t2:27 Yok u ts X X
t2:28 Tubatulabal X X X
t2:29 Owens Valley Paiute X X X X
t2:30 Yavapai X X X X
t2:31 Klamath X X X X X X
t2:32 Nez Perce X X
t2:33 Coeur dAlene X X X X X
t2:34 Thompson X X X X
t2:35 Blackfoot X X X X
t2:36 Tet on X X
t2:37 Crow X X X X X
t2:38 Kiowa X X
t2:39 Menomini X X X X X
t2:40 Jicarilla X X X X X
t2:41 Yanomamo X X X X X
t2:42 Warao X X X X
t2:43 Yamana
t2:44 Selknam X X X X X
t2:45 Mataco X X
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344rather than remain an outcast among the Crow for the rest of her life: Now that the one
345who befriended me is gone, I shall be more like a captive than ever. I believe Ill go
346home(Deloria 1932:269).
347Offspring Killed Stories that referenced the loss of offspring in warfare occurred in
34864% of collections. Immature as well as reproductive-age children were counted
349because reproductive potential is nullified in both cases. Only deaths were counted,
350because abducted children were sometimes adopted by their captors and treated as
351family. However, it is likely that this category underestimates the fitness costs of
352warfare to women because, as both the ethnographic record and oral tradition indicate,
353abducted children were at least occasionally killed. One tale, for example, recounts the
354fate of a group of Indian children taken prisoner by the Iglulik: the latter drove the
355children ahead of them towards their village. The Indian children soon grew tired, and
357on the head and killed(Rasmussen 1929:291). Only two children made it to the village
359Offspring may also be lost because of deliberate abandonment by the mother.
360Women frequently have children by their captors, and when presented with an oppor-
361tunity to escape, they face an excruciating dilemma: is it better to continue investing in
362current offspring fathered by their captor, or abandon them for future reproductive
363opportunities with a mate of their choosing? Because children impede travel, impose
364extra energy costs, and, with their crying, increase the odds of detection, escape
365typically requires that a woman leave her children behind, as illustrated in the story
366of Atsunve cited above. A Chipewyan story references the same predicament: Once a
367woman was stolen by the Eskimo. After she had lived with them for some time and had
368a child, she went away, taking it with her. . . . The child was very greedy, often eating
369everything up away from its mother. After a time they came to a large lake where she
370sat down and cried. . . . I am going to leave that greedy boy behind,she said to
371herself(Goddard 1912:52; for a Beaver variant, see Goddard 1916:250). This is
372another case in which oral tradition lends insight into the fitness costs of warfare.
373Mate Killed/Captured Stories that referenced the capture or death of a mate in warfare
374occurred in 47% of collections. Since either circumstance deprives a woman of her
375mates investment, both of these were counted as loss of mate. As noted above, loss of
376her mate puts a womans nutritional status and that of her offspring in jeopardy. The
377anxiety precipitated by this circumstance is reflected in a Dena story about a group of
378co-wives whose husband is killed by another man. The primary concern of the
t2:46 Tab l e 2 (continued)
Culture Group Woman
Wom a n
Mate Killed
or Captured
Male Kin Killed
or Captured
At Least 1 Type
of Casualty
t2:47 Chamacoco X X X X X
t2:48 Bororo X X X X X X
t2:49 Total% of Cultures 44.44% 48.89% 64.44% 46.67% 62.22% 82.22%
X indicates presence of fitness cost in at least one story in the collection sampled for that culture.
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379bereaved women is who will take the place of their slain husband and get food for
380them(de Laguna 1995:313).
381The protection afforded by a mate is underscored by captivity narratives. Although
382some of these stories recount instances in which women are captured while being
383defended by their husband, in many cases the woman is alone when she is abducted. A
384common plot involves a woman being captured while she and her husband are camped
385by themselves and the man is out hunting. A case in point is a Beaver story about a man
386who left a large camp in which he had many brothers and camped alone with his wife.
387As they moved about they came to a large lake that one could not see across and
388camped by it. One day while he was away, hunting, someone stole his wife(Goddard
3891916:268). The fact that the couple is attacked while camped away from the protection
390of the group points to a womans need for multiple male protectors, such as adult male
391kin (see below).
392The protection afforded by mates is also evidenced in rescue narratives. Successful
393rescue attempts occurred in 20% of collections. In all but one ambiguous case, in which
394the captured women were rescued by their relatives(Ingstad 1987:347), the rescue
395party was led by the womans husband. In one of these cases, the husband was
396accompanied by his brother, and in another he was accompanied by his wifesbrothers.
397In the remaining cases, the husband either mounted the rescue attempt on his own or
398received assistance from other, unspecified band members.
399A further fitness cost is the nutritional stress caused simply by a husband going off to
400war. Travel to and from an enemy camp can take weeks or even months. For example,
401after their attack on the Kiowa, the Jicarilla Apache counted the days it took them to
402get back. It took them twenty days(Opler 1938:383). Thats a minimum of forty days
403away from home. While her husband is away, a woman is without a provider for herself
404and her offspring. The hardship this imposes is illustrated in an Inuit tale about two
405cousins, Kumagdlat and Asalok, who travel to the land of the erkileks (Indians) for a
406raiding spree. Before he leaves, Kumagdlat deposits his wife and mother in an Inuit
407village, then leaves them to their own devices. The wife moves in with an old bachelor
408who had taken her into his house and provided for her, considering her to be a widow
409(Rink 1875:115). As this comment suggests, a woman whose husband is on an
410extended raiding expedition is, in effect, a widow, lacking a provider and protector.
411When Kumagdlat returns and asks his wife and mother how they have survived, they
412tell him that the old bachelor has shared his food with them so they wouldntstarveto
413death. The story makes it clear that this almost certainly would have been their fate:
414Kumagdlat himself tells his wife and mother that he expected to find them on the verge
415of starvation.
416For Kumagdlats wife, his return is no less problematic than his absence. Although
417not explicitly stated, it is clearly understood by all present that the wife and the bachelor
418have been cohabiting: will Kumagdlat punish them for this? The tension is palpable as
419Kumagdlat invites the bachelor into his tent to choose a knife from his war booty.
420Fearing a trap, the bachelor counters by asking that the knife be brought to him. A
421standoff ensues, with Kumagdlat politely entreating the bachelor to come into his tent
422and be properly thanked, and the bachelor politely declining his offer:
423424Kumagdlat . . . continued calling from within; and now at last the old man just
425crossed the threshold, saying, Well, then, let me have the knifebut Kumagdlat
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426still entreated him to come further into the room; and having at length made him
427sit down, said, Thou hast provided well for these poor creatures; I thank thee
428very much, and hope thou wilt accept of these knives,and he offered him two
429with beautiful handles (Rink 1875:115).
And with that, Kumagdlat reclaims his wife. Because of the male-centered action, it
432is easy to overlook the finesse with which Kumagdlats wife manages her fate, but
433closer scrutiny reveals the diplomatic skills warfare must often have demanded of
434women. When Kumagdlat asks her how she has managed to survive in his absence, she
435could tell him the bald truth that she cohabited with the bachelor. Instead, she
436characterizes their living arrangement as a favor that the older man has done for
437Kumagdlat so that she would be alive and well when he returned for her: “‘the old
438bachelor has provided for us, that we might not perish from hunger’” (Rink 1875:115).
439Adult Male Kin Killed/Captured Stories that referenced the capture or death of adult
440male kin occurred in 62% of collections. Since either circumstance deprives a woman
441of male investment, both were counted as loss of adult male kin. As with mates, the
442protection afforded by adult male kin is vividly illustrated in the abundant stories about
443women who are captured or killed when men are away from camp. In a Netsilik tale,
444for example, Indians attack the village while the men are out hunting and kill all the
445women and children except for two little girls (Rasmussen 1931:123). Similarly, the
446Klamath tell of a group of Lake tribe women attacked by a Snake raiding party while
447their men were away fishing (Gatschet 1890:28).
448The protection afforded by adult male kin is also illustrated by rescue narratives in
449which the womans brothers, brothers-in-law, or other relatives are named as members
450of the rescue party (see Mate Captured/Killed,above). Since only one story per
451collection was included in the survey, the study results may underestimate the degree to
452which women are rescued by their close male kin. For example, a Beaver story tells of a
453man whose two sisters had been taken by a people who lived at a great distance and he
454was going to get them back(Goddard 1916:267). In another Beaver story, a man
455recruits his wifes brothers to help him rescue his wife: he told them someone had
456stolen his wife. He asked them to go with him and help him fight to get her back. They
457went with him(Goddard 1916:269). These plots point to the vulnerability of a woman
458who loses adult male kin in battle: the fewer male protectors she has, the more likely
459she is to be captured and the less likely she is to be rescued.
460Discussion: Suggestions for Further Research
461Research to date has proceeded from the premise that coalitional aggression has exerted
462more selection pressure on men than on women and, accordingly, has focused on ways
463in which it has shaped male cognition (e.g., Tooby and Cosmides 1988; Wrangham
4641999). A case in point is Walker and Baileys(2012) survey of violent death in 11
465indigenous South American societies, in which they found that 69% of victims were
466males and 31% were females. This, they argue, suggests that the selective pressure of
467violence is slightly more than twice as strong on males as it is on females(2012:31).
468However, as we have seen here, forager war narratives suggest otherwise. Although
469fewer females than males suffer violent death, the loss of a male in warfare potentially
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470imposes fitness costs on his female kin (e.g., mother, sister, mate, daughter) through the
471reduction of male protection and provisioning. Moreover, death is not the only negative
472fitness effect of lethal raiding on women: the capture of self or offspring can be costly
473as well. The findings reported here indicate that coalitional violence exerted strong
474selection pressure on women as well as men, and that female cognition bears exami-
475nation in terms of this recurrent problem. The following discussion initiates this process
476by outlining critical assessments women are faced with in the context of lethal raiding.
477Determining Enemy Intent Wo men s high value as reproductive resources means that,
478to a much greater degree than men, it behooves them to assess the intent of their
479attackers. For a man, it is a safe assumption that his enemy intends to kill him, but this
480is not necessarily true for a woman. As Gat frankly observes, Palaeolithic men were of
481no use to the enemy. For them, the options were either running away or fighting to the
482finish. By contrast, women were themselves a resource in competition. They had better
483chances than the men did to survive the day by submitting, conforming, co-operating,
484and manipulating(2006:81). Thus, we would expect women to have a psychology that
485weighs the probability of being captured versus killed by an attacker.
486Among other things, this requires assessment of ones reproductive value and
487consideration of ones reproductive state. On the one hand, reproductive-age women
488are more desirable as captives than post-reproductive women. On the other hand, a
489visibly pregnant woman is a liability from the aggressors perspective because he
490cannot immediately begin producing offspring with her and because she may slow
491him down on his retreat. If capture is the inferred goal of the attacker, further
492assessments are necessary: the risk to self of resisting capture, the likelihood of
493successfully resisting capture, and the probability of escape or rescue if captured.
494Integral to these calculations is assessment of the attackers formidability. Tellingly,
495research shows that women assess male upper body strength (a reliable proxy of
496fighting strength) from photographs (Sell et al. 2009) and voice recordings (Sell et al.
4972010) as accurately as men do, lending credence to the hypothesis that, like mens,
498womens psychology has been shaped by lethal aggression.
499Assessing the risks of resistance versus compliance also requires several knowledge
500sets, including enemy warfare practices (do they take captives and, if so, do they target
501a certain demographic, such as women or children?) and treatment of captives (are
502captives adopted and treated as in-group members, or are they enslaved and brutal-
503ized?). Thus, we would expect female as well as male minds to track such information.
504One prediction that follows from this hypothesis is that, in preliterate societies, this
505information will be stored in oral tradition. This appears to be the case, as seen in the
506story (see Results) about the two Netsilik women who were captured, gang-raped,
507and killed. Another story tells of a Beaver man who captured and enslaved a woman
508after killing her husband and son, causing her to suffer terribly. He used to burn her
509skin. He killed that old woman too(Goddard 1916:276). The prediction that women as
510well as men track such information could be tested by having male and female subjects
511listen to stories and measuring their retention of the content in question.
512If killing rather than capture is the inferred goal of the attacker, another information
513set comes into play: defensive and evasive tactics known to have been effective for
514women in past assaults. Again, we would expect women as well as men to track such
515information and, in preliterate societies, we would expect this information to be stored
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516in oral tradition. References in forager war narratives to tactics deployed specifically by
517women indicate that this is a promising line of inquiry. For example, an Iglulik story
518describes the use of smoke by women to impair their attackersvision: they [attackers]
519tore open the windows and stabbed the women to death through the window openings.
520The women then hit upon the plan of setting fire to their sleeping rugs, and this sent up
521such a stench and smoke that the Indians could not see(Iglulik; Rasmussen 1929:290;
522see also Rasmussen 1931:118). As with treatment of captives, the prediction that
523women as well as men track information about defensive and evasive tactics could
524be tested by having subjects listen to stories and measuring retention of the content in
526Identification/Integration with Enemy Group Once captured, a woman faces the further
527problem of securing protection and incorporating herself into a cooperative network
528within a foreign and hostile group. On this view, Stockholm Syndrome may be
529profitably reexamined in light of the recurrent problem of captive taking in ancestral
530environments. The term refers to the positive feelings a hostage may develop for his or
531her captor, which are alleged to increase the victims chances of survival by motivating
532acceptance of the situation and thereby reducing attempts to resist the captor (Namnyak
533et al. 2008). Interestingly, Stockholm Syndrome is not a recognized Mental Subject
534Heading; no diagnostic criteria have been identified, and there is little evidence
535suggesting that it is a psychiatric disorder (Namnyak et al. 2008). Nevertheless, a range
536of case studies indicate that this effectwhich McKenzie (2004)moreaccuratelylabels
537the hostage/captor effect (HCE)is very real. A number of studies have identified
538conditions associated with its occurrence: physical restraint or confinement, and the
539threat or actual administration of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse (e.g.,
540McKenzie 2004; Namnyak et al. 2008). Significantly, these conditions are also char-
541acteristic of captivity in forager and forager-horticulturalist groups. This parallel sug-
542gests that HCE may be an evolved strategy for increasing the captiveschancesof
543survival through acute assimilation.
544To date, HCE has only been examined in industrialized state societies. This
545begs the question: is HCE a pan-human phenomenon? Examination of the treat-
546ment received by captives taken in lethal raiding and their responses to captivity is
547critical to answering this question. For example, based on the conditions associ-
548ated with the occurrence of HCE in modern environments, we can make predic-
549tions about environmental cues that might trigger HCE in forager and forager-
550horticulturalist environments and then review ethnographic and ethnohistorical
551accounts of captivity to see whether these cues are present cross-culturally.
552These cues may include failure/lack of attempts to rescue the captive; extreme
553vigilance on the part of the captor, his household, and his kin; an imbalance of
554power favoring the captors group; great distance and/or prohibitively dangerous
555terrain between the captives present location and her home territory; and inclem-
556ent weather. If HCE is an evolved strategy, we would expect it to be summarily
557disengaged when the severity of these constraints falls below a critical threshold
558(with disengagement operationalized as an escape attempt). Cues of reduced
559constraints might include relaxed vigilance on the part of the captor, his house-
560hold, and kin; a predictable period of exhaustion and/or unpreparedness on the
561part of the captor and/or his support network; a predictable period of group
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562dispersal (e.g., when men are away from camp on a hunting trip); travel in the
563direction of the captives home territory or signs of the presence of the captives
564band members; and weather conditions that enable speedy travel, reduce the
565likelihood of detection, and/or discourage pursuit.
566Another important question is whether there are sex differences in HCE. To the
567extent that women were more often taken captive than men, we may expect HCE to be
568more highly developed or more readily triggered in females. In industrialized popula-
569tions, HCE has been reported in both men and women, but because comparatively few
570cases have been documented, it is impossible to resolve this question with any certainty
571at this point. The answer may be best arrived at through computer simulations of
572captivity experiences.
573Strategic Manipulation of Male Behavior Engaging in warfare can entail fitness
574benefits as well as costs. For example, a group with a reputation for fierceness may
575be less likely to be attacked by its neighbors. Consequently, a mans participation in
576warfare can potentially benefit his mate, offspring, and other dependents by making
577them less vulnerable to killing or capture by hostile groups. Thus, females stand to
578benefit from manipulating male participation in lethal aggression. We would therefore
579expect womens psychology to include mechanisms that (1) calculate the cost/benefit
580ratio of their male support network engaging the enemy on a given occasion and (2)
581motivate women to encourage or discourage participation by their male support
582network accordingly. Encouragement may be effected by praising ferocity and/or
583disparaging timidity, which has been documented anecdotally in some populations.
584For example, Yąnomamö women occasionally goad them [men] into taking action
585against some possible enemy by caustically accusing the men of cowardice(Chagnon
587We may expect to find this psychology reflected in war narratives, as suggested
588by a story about a Dakota woman married to a youth who was very fearful of
589war, and had an uncontrollable dread whenever he went on the warpath(Deloria
5901932:270). The woman offers to accompany her husband on a raid of the Crow,
591telling him that, because she speaks the Crow language, it is just possible that I
592can help you(1932:270). When they are attacked by a Crow man during the raid,
593the woman rushed up to him and addressed him in Crow. For an instant this
594disarmed him, and he stopped short; but in that instant the womans husband went
595around him and killed him. And from that day on, this young man began to be
596very successful in battle(1932:271). We also find examples of women exhorting
597their protectors to flee rather than fight. A case in point is an Inuit story about a
598young woman captured by Indians while she and her family are on a fishing trip.
599When she escapes and returns to her camp, her first words are, “’Let us be off at
600once and remove to some other place; the inlanders [Indians] are sure to come and
601seek me here’” (Rink 1875:267). Her exhortations are effective: the story reports
602that they at once left the mainland to settle down on one of the farthest-off islets
604These predictions are tentative, and by no means exhaustive, but they point to an
605aspect of human experience that has been overlooked in the study of our species
606evolution. The findings presented here strongly suggest that female cognitive design
607bears reexamination in terms of the fitness effects of warfare on women.
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609Acknowledgements I thank Lawrence Sugiyama, Klaree Boose, and two anonymous reviewers for their
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Michelle Scalise Sugiyama is a member of the Department of Anthropology and the Institute of Cognitive
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Hum Nat
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No Query.
... In other words, violence, as the adaptive output of evolved psychological mechanisms, is irrevocably conditional, and the structure of that conditionality depends in part on sex. While male participation in coalitional violence is likely highly personalized, physical, and motived to seek opportunistic gains at low cost, female participation is likely indirect, greater in defensive contexts, and when immediate resources are at stake (resources, territory, children) than when surrogate resources are at stake, such as status and honor, although these remain somewhat open questions (Glowacki and Wrangham 2013;Scalise Sugiyama 2014;Lynch, Lummaa, and Loehr 2019). ...
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The scientific study of the evolution of human coalitional aggression has exploded over the last three decades. In four parts, I explore and integrate many of the useful frameworks that have emerged to describe and explain the human practice of intergroup violence. First, we have a clearer understanding of the general conditions required for the evolution of adaptations for coalitional aggression. Second, given an understanding of these conditions, we can more usefully examine the historic and prehistoric record for evidence of the existence of these conditions. Third, I explore and integrate current lab and field evidence for psychological adaptations for coalitional aggression. This section reveals a core dynamic underlying all forms of coalitional aggression: the form of intergroup engagement is functionally linked with the emergent patterns of intragroup dynamics. In other words, how we fight "abroad" determines how we cooperate "at home," and vice versa. Here I examine five areas of inquiry that suggest special design for coalitional aggression. These are: the collective action problem of coordinated violence; parochial altruism; attacker-defender asymmetries; leader-follower dynamics; sex differences in the costs and benefits of violence. Fourth, and to conclude, I offer speculation on the historical emergence of modern human warfare. I do not use "coalitional aggression" and "warfare" interchangeably; rather, evolved psychological adaptations for small-scale coalitional aggression are what make the historical emergence of large-scale human warfare possible.
... Además de instruir sobre las normas y prácticas sociales, algunas narraciones mantenían vivo el recuerdo de eventos históricos. Las tradiciones orales de pueblos cazadores-recolectores también incluían muchos relatos sobre raides guerreros (Chase-Sardi, 1990;Scalise Sugiyama, 2014). Las narraciones de guerra eran una parte integral del entrenamiento de los varones iñupiaq (familia lingüística esquimo-aleutiana de Estados Unidos y Canadá). ...
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p>Practicar un modo de vida cazador-recolector requería obtener, antes de la adultez, un volumen de conocimientos que no habrían podido adquirirse únicamente por experiencia personal. El aprendizaje social (adquirir conocimientos de otros individuos) podría haber evolucionado en respuesta a esta necesidad; dado que es una manera menos peligrosa y más eficiente de aprender, y favorece el desarrollo acumulativo de cultura. Se sabe poco sobre las diferentes formas en que se transmitía el conocimiento práctico en las sociedades cazadoras-recolectoras. Argumentamos aquí que la performance de las narraciones era una forma de enseñanza. Nos basamos en lo que Csibra y Gergely (2006) denominan “pedagogía natural”, un conjunto de comportamientos ostensivo-comunicativos que (i) señalan la intención de transmitir conocimiento generalizable y (ii) marcan el destinatario de ese conocimiento. Las conductas ostensivo-comunicativas incluyen contactos visuales, gestos, y variaciones prosódicas. En este ensayo, presentamos evidencia etnolingüística para argumentar que las narraciones orales cumplen con los criterios de la pedagogía natural y, por lo tanto, deben incluirse en taxonomías de la enseñanza en sociedades cazadoras-recolectoras.</p
... Such strategies are against women's interests. For instance, in war-rape, a woman is likely to be left pregnant and raise the child on her own (Sugiyama, 2014). Thus, women would resist such male strategies (Thornhill & Palmer, 2000). ...
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The present study attempted to understand people’s desires for aggressive and humiliating sexual play, both in terms of interests and fantasy. An evolutionary framework has been developed which generated five hypotheses to be tested. Evidence from a qualitative study of 102 participants identified 13 aggressive and sexual acts which were commonly preferred. A subsequent quantitative online study of 1026 men and women asked participants to rate the desirability of these acts. The results indicated that more than 70% of participants found at least one aggressive or humiliating sexual play desirable, whereas about half of the participants found at least three such acts desirable. Significant sex differences were also found, with men desiring to engage in such play more than women. This discordance was moderated by the willingness of each party to partially accommodate each other’s desires. On the basis of these findings and the proposed theoretical framework, it is concluded that aggressive and humiliating sexual play constitutes a normal variation in sexual desire.
... Also, the costs of participation in warfare are likely to be greater for women on account of the possibility of being pregnant or lactating, offspring survival being more strongly dependent on the continued presence of the mother than the father, sexual division of labour, and central place foraging leading to the opportunity costs of travelling being greater for women (e.g. [40]), and finally the risk of sexual coercion in case of defeat [9,31,41]. Third, women may be relatively less incentivized to participate in warfare owing to femalebiased dispersal being associated with their having lower kinship to those group mates who stand to benefit in the event of success in warfare [36,38]. Female-biased dispersal (patrilocality) has been suggested to characterize ancestral humans [42] (but see [43]) and contemporary hunter-gatherers [44] (but see [45,46]), and is also observed in chimpanzees [47], in striking contradistinction to the usual mammalian syndrome of male-biased dispersal [48,49]. ...
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Interest in the evolutionary origins and drivers of warfare in ancient and contemporary small-scale human societies has greatly increased in the last decade, and has been particularly spurred by exciting archaeological discoveries that suggest our ancestors led more violent lives than previously documented. However, the striking observation that warfare is an almost-exclusively male activity remains unexplained. Three general hypotheses have been proposed, concerning greater male effectiveness in warfare, lower male costs, and patrilocality. But while each of these factors might explain why warfare is more common in men, they do not convincingly explain why women almost never participate. Here, we develop a mathematical model to formally assess these hypotheses. Surprisingly, we find that exclusively male warfare may evolve even in the absence of any such sex differences, though sex biases in these parameters can make this evolutionary outcome more likely. The qualitative observation that participation in warfare is almost exclusive to one sex is ultimately explained by the fundamentally sex-specific nature of Darwinian competition-in fitness terms, men compete with men and women with women. These results reveal a potentially key role for ancestral conditions in shaping our species' patterns of sexual division of labour and violence-related adaptations and behavioural disorders.
... Monopolizing access to women is not of course the only aim of violent conflict, but it usually results in the winning party gaining access to the reproductive capacity of the defeated party's women. Fertile women have almost always been the prize of the winning parties in ancestral warfare (Dow, 1983;Sugiyama, 2014). Therefore, even if the primary motivation for violent conflict is not to monopolize access to women, men endowed with traits that turn them more effective in fighting other men are more likely to gain access to the reproductive capacity of women. ...
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Ecological differences between societies that base their subsistence on hunting and gathering, as opposed to agriculture and animal husbandry, result in different rates of violent conflict. The aim of the present study is to test the hypothesis that pre-industrial societies which base their subsistence on agro-pastoralism have higher rates of internal and external violent conflict, and consequently experience stronger male-male competition, than societies which base their subsistence on hunting and gathering. Analysis of 19 variables from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample provides strong support for this hypothesis. Based on these findings, it is argued that the agropastoral revolution has resulted in the strengthening of male-male competition. The consequences on mate choice due to the mismatch between ancestral conditions, where violent male-male competition had been generally strong, and contemporary conditions where it is extremely weak, are also explored.
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Objectives The male warrior hypothesis suggests that men have evolved psychological mechanisms to form aggressive coalitions against members of outgroups, which may explain men’s propensity to engage in warfare, as well as team sports. We examined gender differences in skin conductivity and attitudes toward war after exposing participants to video imagery depicting sports and war from a sample of young adults from Slovakia. Methods We measured skin conductivity responses using electrodermal activity (EDA) when participants watched three short videos: Football, World War II, and Control. Then, implicit and explicit attitudes toward war and subjective arousal of the three videos were examined using questionnaires. Results Men showed higher maximal skin conductivity when watching a team sport video, compared to a control video. Skin conductivity during a war video did not significantly differ from a sport or control video. In contrast, women showed highest maximal skin conductivity when watching a war video, followed by the sport and control videos, but these differences were not statistically significant. When the videos were subjectively rated by the same participants, men rated team sports and war as similarly arousing, but ratings of these videos were not significantly different for women. Conclusions These results suggest that visual cues of warfare and team sports influence skin conductivity, but we did not find support for the hypothesis that sport is a substitute for war. Because this study was based exclusively on visual cues, we discuss additional possibilities that could influence future investigations.
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The origins of warfare have long been of interest for researchers across disciplines. Did our earliest ancestors engage in forms of organized violence that are appropriately viewed as approximations, forms of, or analogs for more recent forms of warfare? Assessed in this article are contrasting views that see warfare as being either a product of more recent human societies or a phenomenon with a much deeper chronology. The article provides an overview of current debates, theories, and methodological approaches, citing literature and data from archaeological, ethnographic, genetic, primatological, and paleoanthropological studies. Synthetic anthropological treatments are needed, especially in efforts to inform debates among nonacademic audiences, because the discipline's approaches are ideally suited to study the origins of warfare. Emphasized is the need to consider possible forms of violence and intergroup aggression within Pleistocene contexts, despite the methodological challenges associated with fragmentary, equivocal, or scarce data. Finally, the review concludes with an argument about the implications of the currently available data. We propose that socially cooperative violence, or “emergent warfare,” became possible with the onset of symbolic thought and complex cognition. Viewing emergent warfare as a byproduct of the human capacity for symbolic thought explains how the same capacities for communication and sociality allowed for elaborate peacemaking, conflict resolution, and avoidance. Cultural institutions around war and peace are both made possible by these changes. Accordingly, we suggest that studies on warfare's origins should be tied to research on the advent of cooperation, sociality, and communication.
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Abstract Dyadic play fighting occurs in many species, but only humans are known to engage in coalitional play fighting. Dyadic play fighting is hypothesized to build motor skills involved in actual dyadic fighting; thus, coalitional play fighting may build skills involved in actual coalitional fighting, operationalized as forager lethal raiding. If human psychology includes a motivational component that encourages engagement in this type of play, evidence of this play in forager societies is necessary to determine that it is not an artifact of agricultural or industrial conditions. We examine whether coalitional play fighting appears in the hunter-gatherer record and includes motor skills used in lethal raiding. Using the ethnographic record, we generated a list of motor patterns regularly used in forager warfare. Then, using Murdock’s Ethnographic Atlas, we identified 100 culture clusters containing forager societies and searched the ethnographic records of these societies for descriptions of coalitional play fighting, operationalized as contact games played in teams. Resulting games were coded for the presence of eight motor patterns regularly used in forager lethal raiding. Although play does not tend to be systematically documented in the hunter-gatherer literature, sufficiently detailed descriptions of coalitional play were found for 46 of the 100 culture clusters: all 46 exhibited coalitional play using at least one of the predicted motor patterns; 39 exhibited coalitional play using four or more of the eight predicted motor patterns. These results provide evidence that coalitional play fighting (a) occurs across a diverse range of hunter-gatherer cultures and habitats, (b) regularly recruits motor patterns used in lethal raiding, and (c) is not an artifact of agricultural or industrial life. This is a first step in a new line of research on whether human male psychology includes motivations to engage in play that develops the deployment of coordinated coalitional action involving key motor patterns used in lethal raiding
Full-text available
Dyadic play fighting occurs in many species, but only humans are known to engage in coalitional play fighting. Dyadic play fighting is hypothesized to build motor skills involved in actual dyadic fighting; thus, coalitional play fighting may build skills involved in actual coalitional fighting, operationalized as forager lethal raiding. If human psychology includes a motivational component that encourages engagement in this type of play, evidence of this play in forager societies is necessary to determine that it is not an artifact of agricultural or industrial conditions. We examine whether coalitional play fighting appears in the hunter-gatherer record and includes motor skills used in lethal raiding. Using the ethnographic record, we generated a list of motor patterns regularly used in forager warfare. Then, using Murdock’s Ethnographic Atlas, we identified 100 culture clusters containing forager societies and searched the ethnographic records of these societies for descriptions of coalitional play fighting, operationalized as contact games played in teams. Resulting games were coded for the presence of eight motor patterns regularly used in forager lethal raiding. Although play does not tend to be systematically documented in the hunter-gatherer literature, sufficiently detailed descriptions of coalitional play were found for 46 of the 100 culture clusters: all 46 exhibited coalitional play using at least one of the predicted motor patterns; 39 exhibited coalitional play using four or more of the eight predicted motor patterns. These results provide evidence that (a) coalitional play fighting occurs across a diverse range of hunter-gatherer cultures and habitats, (b) regularly recruits motor patterns used in lethal raiding, and (c) is not an artifact of agricultural or industrial life. This is a first step in a new line of research on whether human male psychology includes motivations to engage in play that develops the deployment of coordinated coalitional action involving key motor patterns used in lethal raiding.
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The remains of at least 35 individuals (women, children, and the elderly) were recovered from the Saunaktuk site (NgTn-1) in the Eskimo Lakes region of the Northwest Territories. Recent interpretations in the Arctic have suggested a mortuary custom resulting in dismemberment, defleshing, chopping, long bone splitting, and scattering of human remains. On the evidence from the Saunaktuk site, we reject this hypothesis. The Saunaktuk remains exhibit five forms of violent trauma indicating torture, mutilation, murder, and cannibalism. Apparently these people were the victims of long-standing animosity between Inuit and Amerindian groups in the Canadian Arctic. This animosity is explored by examining in detail the skeletal evidence of violence and the rare commodity of an ethnohistory in the form of a local oral tradition. The ethnohistory serves to confirm the conclusions reached from the skeletal analysis. A detailed description of the lesions present on the remains chronicles the tragic events that took place at this site in precontact times.
Warfare has traditionally been considered unique to humans. It has, therefore, often been explained as deriving from features that are unique to humans, such as the possession of weapons or the adoption of a patriarchal ideology. Mounting evidence suggests, however, that coalitional killing of adults in neighboring groups also occurs regularly in other species, including wolves and chimpanzees. This implies that selection can favor components of intergroup aggression important to human warfare, including lethal raiding. Here I present the principal adaptive hypothesis for explaining the species distribution of intergroup coalitional killing. This is the "imbalance-of-power hypothesis," which suggests that coalitional killing is the expression of a drive for dominance over neighbors. Two conditions are proposed to be both necessary and sufficient to account for coalitional killing of neighbors: (1) a state of intergroup hostility; (2) sufficient imbalances of power between parties that one party can attack the other with impunity. Under these conditions, it is suggested, selection favors the tendency to hunt and kill rivals when the costs are sufficiently low. The imbalance-of-power hypothesis has been criticized on a variety of empirical and theoretical grounds which are discussed. To be further tested, studies of the proximate determinants of aggression are needed. However, current evidence supports the hypothesis that selection has favored a hunt-and-kill propensity in chimpanzees and humans, and that coalitional killing has a long history in the evolution of both species. Yrbk Phys Anthropol 42:1-30, 1999.