Watch Dr. Malcolm Potts at The Woodrow Wilson International Center
“The ultimate weapon of mass destruction-and perhaps of economic destruction-is the testosterone molecule,” quipped Malcolm Potts at the February 11, 2009, discussion of his new book, Sex and War: How Biology Explains War and Offers a Path to Peace, which explores the pivotal question, “Why do human beings systematically and deliberately kill our own species?” Potts, the Bixby Professor of Population and Family Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, was joined Science magazine’s Ann Gibbons, a leading correspondent on human evoluation, who examined whether aggressive human behaviors are evolving in response to changing social structures.
Sex and War: How Biology Explains War and Offers a Path to Peace
Malcolm Potts, Bixby Professor of Population and Family Planning,
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
Ann Gibbons, Correspondent, Science Magazine
Watch the full presenation here
Malcolm Potts at Woodrow Wilson Center
Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path or a Safer World traces the cultural and biological evolution of warfare from its prehuman origins to our own times. In the spirit of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden pull together insights from history, archaeology, psychology, and biology to produce a
clarifying new understanding of human history and current events.
Sex and War shows that war, terrorism, slavery, and the subjugation of women have common roots deep in our biological history. Evolution is not destiny, however, and the authors argue that relatively simple strategies can help the biology of peace win out over the biology of war. In doing so, they lay out a roadmap to make war less likely in the future, and less brutal when it does occur.
Malcolm Potts is the Bixby Professor of Population and Family Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. During his distinguished career, he has served as president and CEO of Family Health International, as well as the first medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Ann Gibbons is the author of The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times best science and technology book in 2007. She is a correspondent for Science magazine, where she has written about human evolution for more than a decade. She has also taught science writing at Carnegie Mellon University and has written for many newspapers and magazines.