Unanswered [8] | Urgent [0]
  

Home / Writing Feedback   % width Posts: 2

An evolutionary perspective on domestic violence - essay


FredParisFrance 61 / 7  
Jan 14, 2008   #1
Hello,

Could you please read my essay and give me some feedback?

The prompt is:

Discuss your thoughts about the cycle of violence. What are your suggestions to help stop generational violence? What is your community/state/workplace doing in terms of this issue and is it working? What is new in the year 2007 that could help with this issue? Please be specific and give examples.

Thank you in advance

Frederic

-------------

Eros and Thanatos struggle: an evolutionary perspective on domestic violence integrating psychoanalytic concepts.

Conventional wisdom in western countries considers domestic violence as a scourge that should be eradicated once and for all. Therefore, the executive, legislative, and judicial systems of these nations endeavour to determine the best means to reach this goal. However, a question has not been raised yet, though it could be useful to tackle the issue of violence between intimate partners. Although western worldviews generally deem that domestic violence is detrimental to individuals, to what extent is this consistent from a biological point of view? The integration of the psychoanalytic concepts of "Eros" and "Thanatos" into the evolutionary concept of "selfish gene" shed a new light on the intergenerational transmission of domestic violence. This is of tremendous importance because the subsequent findings may open new vistas for philosophical issues concerning the cultural acceptation of violence, in addition to a more practical management of domestic violence.

"Thanatos", the irrepressible drive towards dissolution, death, and aggression defined by psychoanalysis, may be apprehended as the transmission of "selfish" genes controlling extreme emotions such as aggressiveness. Genes favouring aggressiveness tend to make individuals prone to violence and more likely to retain their intimate partner along with them in their household thanks to the use of physical assaults. Moreover, these genes may also incite them into sexually abusing their intimate partner. Consequently, these individuals are bound to augment their reproductive success. Moreover, since they are apt to display a rather significant reproductive success, they pass their genes favouring aggressiveness on their offspring. The "selfish genes" make their way through generations albeit parents are bound to be jailed (for the abusers) or to be murdered (for the abused). In this case, should individuals be refrained from or even sentenced for something that they cannot consciously manage? Domestically violent partners might not be considered as criminals but rather as people who unfortunately have to abide the consequences of dominant genes favouring aggressiveness. Accordingly, research and discussions are needed to evaluate the extent to which our societies agree to accept the perpetration of domestic violence as an inherent human trait.

"Eros", the intractable drive towards self-preservation and sexual instinct described by psychoanalysis, may be understood as the transmission of "selfish" genes organizing the whole human organism's survival. Dominant genes promoting the satisfaction of homeostatic drives, such as sexual reproduction are liable to motivate individuals into accepting being physically abused because they enhance these individuals to preserve their position of principal intimate partner and, thus, their possibility to copulate with an utmost dominant partner. Furthermore, these individuals are all the more inclined to accept sexual abuse since they increase their reproductive success and pass their genes on their offspring. Subsequently, these "selfish genes" are transmitted from generation to generation although abusers are likely to be sentenced to prison terms or death penalty and abused are bound to be severely injured (both emotionally and physically) or killed. Therefore, should individuals be necessarily considered as abusers' involuntarily preys? Partners enduring domestic violence against them might not be systematically regarded as victims of socially learnt behaviours but rather as people who cannot counter the submerging force of their genes seeking to enhance the individuals' reproductive success and their own transmission. Consequently, research and discussions are also needed to assess the societies' desire to accept that domestically abused individuals may want to preserve this kind of relationship.

In France, the legislation now benefits from the "Loi du 4 avril 2006 renforçant la prévention et la répression des violences au sein du couple ou commises contre les mineurs" (Law dated April 4th, 2006, reinforcing the prevention and repression of violence within couples or committed against minors). This law aims at preventing and restricting domestic violence thanks to, among other aspects, the augmentation of the punishment (from 30 years to life imprisonment for murder) in addition to restrictive orders. Although this law seems quite persuasive as far as prevention of domestic violence is concerned, in no way does it take into account the biological factors triggering off violence between intimate partners. Such a law could even be more valuable, for example, thanks to the integration of chemical inhibitors restraining the production of testosterone.

Finally, practical policies aimed at tackling the issue of domestic violence may be better apprehended in the light of a "critical mass theory". Explicitly, domestic violence may be the result of the aggregate of genes' and memes' minute forces promoting their individuals transmission. Their endeavours for surviving end in the completely opposite goal, i.e. the vulnerability of the whole body, and the serious diminution of the human beings' differential reproductive success. This behaviour is reminiscent of flocks of starlings when they migrate. Consequently, policies aiming at curbing domestic violence should be inspired from wine growers' methods that lay emphasis on the birds, i.e. the genes and memes, rather than on the flock, i.e. the human being, to protect their vineyards. In this way, the alleged innate sadism and masochism of partners involved in domestic violence could be treated to the root of the problems. For instance, research could be conducted on means to introduce potential predators to genes controlling aggressiveness or on means to create a fierce competition between these genes thanks to the deprivation of available resources. However, such ideas might only be developed on condition that the actual modus operandi of gene transmission becomes discovered.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Jan 15, 2008   #2
Greetings!

I'm happy to give some editing suggestions for your excellent essay!

more likely to retain their intimate partner along with them in their household thanks to the use of physical assaults. - This could be made a little clearer.

Dominant genes promoting the satisfaction of homeostatic drives, such as sexual reproduction, are liable to motivate individuals into accepting being physically abused because they enhance these individuals to preserve their position of principal intimate partner and, thus, their possibility to copulate with an utmost dominant partner. - Although technically grammatically correct, this sentence is a bit cumbersome to follow.

Their endeavours for surviving end in the completely opposite goal, i.e., the vulnerability - Whenever you use "i.e." be sure to put commas both before and after it, i.e., like this. :-)

Great job!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com


Home / Writing Feedback / An evolutionary perspective on domestic violence - essay