In response to the increasing acts of violence occurring throughout our nation, brutality against minorities, violence against women, using cars as weapons against those protesting for change, there is one fact that seems to be continuously ignored. Essentially all of these horrendous acts are perpetrated by boys (I hesitate to call them men) who never learned to treat others as they would like to be treated or to use their words rather than their fists. It is obvious that such people remain an obstacle in our attempts to be a civilized species. I have a suggestion to ameliorate this problem if you will bear with me a moment.

In biology there is an evolutionary mechanism called sexual selection. This occurs when one sex shows a preference for certain characteristics in a mate, birds with extravagant plumage, men with big pickup trucks, women that are 20 pounds underweight, etc. In most cases we are not even aware of these preferences as we are still mostly controlled by our reptilian brain rather than our cerebral cortex.

It has always astounded me that so many women are attracted to aggressive men, even coming to their defense in cases of domestic violence. Aggression in males was no doubt a selective advantage 200 thousand (or even 20 thousand) years ago. Unfortunately, this trait is counterproductive to developing a civilized society where everyone (everyone!) has equal opportunity under the law.

My suggestion, therefore, is to take a biological approach to reducing violent tendencies in men. If you don’t want to have violent, aggressive boys, don’t breed with violent, aggressive men. It may not solve the problem completely, but it certainly can’t hurt.

William Odegard

Mount Shasta