Phylogenetic and Ontogenetic Aspects of Human Affectional Development

  • James W. Prescott
Part of the Perspectives in Sexuality book series (Persp. Sex.)


The failure to develop peaceful behaviors represents the single greatest threat to the quality of human life and to the survival of human civilization. It is unnecessary to catalogue the history of human violence nor to note that the human mammal is unique in its ability to engage in collective action to destroy its own species. Some would point to the evolution of language and complex cognitive functioning as indispensable in accounting for the uniqueness of human violence. Others would argue that it is our evolutionary heritage where the most aggressive individuals survived hostile and violent environments which thereby perpetrated their own aggressive genotype. No such genotype has, of course, been found and it is highly unlikely that such a genotype exists. The enormous extent and diversity of human violence throughout the world defies any simple genetic explanation.


Child Abuse Rhesus Monkey Physical Violence Sexual Posturing Maternal Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Prescott
    • 1
  1. 1.USA

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