Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence
DescriptionWhatever their virtues, men are more violent than women. Why do men kill, rape, and wage war, and what can we do about it? Demonic Males offers startling new answers to these questions. Drawing on the latest discoveries about human evolution and about our closest living relatives, the great apes, the book unfolds a compelling argument that the secrets of a peaceful society may well be, first, a sharing of power between males and females, and second, a high level and variety of sexual activity, both homosexual and heterosexual. Dramatic, vivid, and sometimes shocking, but firmly grounded in meticulous scientific research, Demonic Males will stir controversy and debate. It will be required reading for anyone concerned about the spiral of violence undermining human society.
November 14, 1997
5.59 X 0.92 X 8.3 inches | 0.83 pounds
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About the Author
Dale Peterson's twenty previous books have been named Best of the Year by the Boston Globe, the Denver Post, Discover, the Economist, the Globe and Mail, Library Journal, and the Village Voice. Two titles have been honored as Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. Peterson is the author of the definitive biography Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man, as well as Elephant Reflections, Giraffe Reflections, The Moral Lives of Animals, and The Ghosts of Gombe. With Jane Goodall, he coauthored Visions of Caliban: On Chimpanzees and People, and he is coeditor, with Marc Bekoff, of The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall, published by Trinity University Press. A former fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Peterson teaches at Tufts University and lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.
Richard Wrangham is the Ruth Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University. He is coauthor of Demonic Males, and has been featured on NPR and in the Boston Globe, New Scientist, and Scientific American. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"The heroes of this fascinating account of primate behavior and evolution are bonobos, members of a species closely related to both humans and chimpanzees but distinguished by its comparatively nonviolent and relatively egalitarian social structure. Wrangham and Peterson look to studies of bonobo social organization and behavior for insight into social mechanisms to control human violence. The influence of sociobiology is evident at every step in the authors' (which the authors dub "Galton's error"). The book is an accessible, gripping, sometimes surprising account of the depth and extent of violent behavior among primates as well as a provocative discussion of its origins and possible remedies." Booklist, ALA