Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Friday, March 21, 2008

On Sex and Suicide Bombing

I found a paper with the title "On sex and suicide bombing: An evaluation of Kanazawa’s ‘evolutionary psychological imagination'" by David W. Lawson, Fiona M. Jordan and Kesson Magid (via Cosma Shalizi).

The abstract:

"Kanazawa (2007) proposes the ‘evolutionary psychological imagination’ (p.7) as an authoritative framework for understanding complex social and public issues. As a case study of this approach, Kanazawa addresses acts of international terrorism, specifically suicide bombings committed by Muslim men. It is proposed that a comprehensive explanation of such acts can be gained from taking an evolutionary perspective armed with only three points of cultural knowledge: 1. Muslims are exceptionally polygynous, 2. Muslim men believe they will gain reproductive access to 72 virgins if they die as a martyr and 3. Muslim men have limited access to pornography, which might otherwise relieve the tension built up from intra-sexual competition. We agree with Kanazawa that evolutionary models of human behaviour can contribute to our understanding of even the most complex social issues. However, Kanazawa’s case study, of what he refers to as ‘World War III’, rests on a flawed theoretical argument, lacks empirical backing, and holds little in the way of explanatory power."
It's a response to the paper by Kanazawa entitled "The evolutionary psychological imagination: why you can’t get a date on a saturday night and why most suicide bombers are Muslim." which was posted by Soob here. Take a look at the Cosma Shalizi post I linked to above as well. He rips into Kanawaza.


The Red Son said...

So by that logic, being that I am 1)monogamous 2) don't believe in an afterlife and have no particular desire to deflower and impregnate 72 virgins and 3) have virtually unlimited access to free pornography, can I ever be a true revolutionary?

Ymarsakar said...

can I ever be a true revolutionary?

You'll have to apply for a top echelon position, rather than an entry one.