cover image The Dark Side of Man: Tracing the Origins of Male Violence

The Dark Side of Man: Tracing the Origins of Male Violence

Michael P. Ghiglieri, Author Basic Books $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7382-0076-7

Taking a hard-line evolutionary perspective, University of Northern Arizona anthropology professor Ghiglieri (Canyon) argues that it is possible to explain all facets of violent behavior in humans through a thorough understanding of biology. Via an amalgam of evolutionary theory, criminal justice theory and concepts drawn from sociology and anthropology, Ghiglieri aims to convince readers that men are significantly more violent than women and that this difference stems almost exclusively from genetic differences associated with contrasting reproductive strategies utilized by members of the two sexes. Ghiglieri says that we should ""not expect political correctness from this book,"" and in chapters on rape, murder, war and genocide, he keeps his promise. His views will be extremely controversial, though they are not particularly well supported. He argues, for example, that contrary to accepted dogma, rape really is about sex rather than about power, that women threatened with rape should resist as strongly as they can and that ""rape during war may be an instinctive male reproductive strategy."" The book's final section provides Ghiglieri's prescription for dealing with innate violence: we need to stop coddling criminals, increase our rate of execution dramatically, encourage all states to pass legislation permitting the carrying of concealed handguns and create a retributive legal system based on the Judeo-Christian concept of an eye for an eye. (Apr.)