How Men Are Evolved For Fighting

Men are evolved to fight. In nature, men have a natural tendency to see violence and respond with aggression rather than flight or submission. Some argue this is because of the sexual selection pressure in which males who can beat their rivals must be more aggressive so they don’t get beaten themselves.

How men are evolved for fighting illustration.

Men seem to be attracted to combat sports and physically demanding vocations. Males still dominate violent sports like mixed martial arts, and 85.5 percent of active duty military personnel are men.

Men are also more likely than women to conduct violent crimes, according to statistics. These violent offenses vary from simple assault and battery at a bar to outright killing.

Why are males more likely to engage in violence, whether recreationally, professionally, or criminally? Many scholars believe that it is entirely a question of social conditioning, that males are violent and aggressive because society trains them to be that.

Other scholars in the disciplines of evolutionary biology and anthropology, on the other hand, believe that, although societal training may have an impact on male behavior, males are physiologically and psychologically built to fight in many ways.

In a 2012 paper titled “The Importance of Physical Strength to Human Males,” a group of academics from the fields of anthropology and evolutionary psychology compiled research from a variety of fields to suggest that evolutionary and reproductive pressures in our distant past pushed males in our species to develop a proclivity for risk taking and violence, as well as physical traits that would be useful in violent confrontations. Think about how the surge in testosterone in a teenage boy during puberty increases the growth of his musculature and capability for upper body strength. These are the qualities that experts believe are the outcome of selection for fighting.

Because males competed for resources and reproductive success much more fiercely than females, being larger, stronger, and better at fighting gave men a significant advantage.

Essentially, the theory is that much of what distinguishes men from women may be attributed to men’s drive to battle other men.

It’s hard to assert that X features arose for X reason in the domains of evolutionary psychology and biology since they’re frequently quite speculative. For example, some academics believe that the human hand’s anatomy evolved to enable us to better build fists and punch one other, while others believe it evolved to allow us to manufacture and utilize tools. The interaction of biology, psychology, and society is complicated, and reducing who we are to a simple question of evolution is short-sighted and reductionist.

With those limitations in mind, the conjecture is undoubtedly entertaining! You don’t have to become a full-time fisticuffer just because you’re wired to fight, but you could search for methods to feed that primitive itch. Plus, it’s kind of fascinating to look in the mirror in the morning and know that your distinct characteristics were created for fighting. You’re a fighter at heart. It’s definitely motivating to go the gym and not let thousands of years of development go to waste. Respect your forefathers and mothers!


Consider these characteristics that may have been designed for fight the next time you give yourself a once-over:

1. Mental rotation and spatial visualization are more rapid. In a fast-changing dynamic like a battle, this may be useful. Play fighting and spatial visualization have been linked by researchers. Women can reduce the difference with training, according to recent studies, but males seem to be predisposed to this feature.

2. Shoulders that are wider Punching and throwing may be done with increased power. Shoulders that were wider functioned as a deterrence to potential aggressors. “Don’t mess with me, I can pummel you,” they said. Broad shoulders, according to anthropologist Richard Wrangham, “are the human counterpart of antlers” because of their signaling power.

3. Strengthening of the upper body. Punching, grappling, and throwing weapons are all possible with this weapon (rocks, spears, etc.).

4. Increased lung capacity In high-intensity, cardiovascularly demanding sports like fighting, it comes in handy.

5. Bones that are stronger and denser, particularly in the arms. It may be used to inflict additional harm on an opponent. You’re less prone to fracture your bones after strenuous physical activity if your bones are stronger. Improved testosterone levels in males lead to increased bone strength.

6. Reaction times are quicker. Reaction times are faster. Avoid punches, missiles, and other aggressive strikes by using this technique.

7. Jaw, face, and neck bones that are thicker and stronger. Stronger, thicker face and jaw muscles and bones absorb more of the energy from a blow, reducing the risk of a fractured jaw or concussion.

8. Hearts that are larger and have a greater systolic blood pressure. During a hard action like a fight, a bigger heart and somewhat greater systolic blood pressure may better pump blood to muscles. Naturally, having a huge heart and high blood pressure might be harmful to one’s cardiatric health.

9. Throwing and blocking accuracy has improved. In a battle, it’s useful for throwing rocks, spears, fists, and other weapons, as well as dodging oncoming rocks, spears, fists, and other weapons.

10. Increased sweat capacity and more effective heat dissipation. Increases endurance during physical exercise, especially when done in dry, hot conditions. While women’s heat dissipation is greater overall owing to their lower body mass, men’s heat dissipation is more efficient when considering their overall bigger size.

11. Increased muscle mass and a lower fat-to-muscle ratio. Muscle mass equals strength. In hand-to-hand fighting, you definitely want to be strong.

12. More hemoglobin in the circulation and a larger circulating blood volume. Increased oxygen efficiency, which might be useful while fighting another enemy. In addition, males have more circulating clotting factors than women, resulting in speedier wound healing.

13. Skin that is thicker. It’s possible that it helps to prevent wounds from occurring during physical conflict.

14. Taller. Allows you to punch with more power. You can punch with 200 percent greater power if you strike downward rather than upward. In a battle, taller males have an edge.

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Ted Slampyak created the illustration.