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NCJ Number: 75446 Find in a Library
Title: Family Violence - Implications From Evolutionary Biology (From Understanding Crime, P 91-101, Travis Hirschi and Michael Gottfredson, ed. - See NCJ-75441)
Author(s): R L Burgess
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article argues that the long history of child abuse and its generality across species as well as cultures can be better understood by seeking theoretical generalizations that transcend interspecific differences and yet are specific enough to account for the diverse data available.
Abstract: In an attempt to trace features of child abuse to a concern for ultimate causation such as is taught by modern evolutionary theory, the author considers two of its basic concepts, parental investment and parental certainty. Using the additional concept of inclusive fitness, evolutionists predict that a parent's investment in young children varies inversely with doubtful or step-parenthood, scarce parental resources, and unusually high costs for parental efforts. Child characteristics such as developmental problems ranging from poor speech to physical deformities and handicaps are also implicated in parental abuse and neglect. Premature children, separated from their mother for a long period immediately after birth for medical reasons, stand at risk for abuse and neglect, thus providing additonal evidence for an evolutionary interpretation of parent-child relationships. It is, therefore, necessary to continue to seek implications for family violence in evolutionary biology, and to explore the interface between these relationships and the various proximal mechanisms of abusive patterns of family interaction as well as their immediate antecedents. Forty-four references are appended.
Index Term(s): Aggression; Child abuse; Domestic assault; Family offenses; Victim crime precipitation; Violence
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