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Adaptations to Avoid Victimization

NCJ Number
Aggression and Violent Behavior Volume: 17 Issue: 1 Dated: January/February 2012 Pages: 59-71
Joshua D. Duntley; Todd K. Shackelford
Date Published
February 2012
13 pages
This article examines the many ways that humans have adapted in order to avoid victimization by other humans.
From an evolutionary perspective, victims are individuals who incur fitness costs as the result of the actions of external agents. The external agents that inflict the costs are often other humans. In the evolutionary past, there were recurrent contexts of conflict in the fitness interests of different individuals. Evidence suggests that many instances of the infliction of costs on conspecifics are the evolved products of adaptations that function to acquire and control fitness-enhancing resources and goals. The authors propose that an antagonistic, co-evolutionary arms race that has churned through the deep time of human evolutionary history has produced adaptations to strategically exploit others and defenses to avoid the costs of victimization. (Published Abstract)


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