November 7, 2009

Hillard Kaplan
Department of Anthropology
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Dear Dr. Kaplan:

I read with interest your review (Sex, War (and Ecology) SCIENCE vol. 326 no. 5950 October 9, 2009 page 232) of the book Sex and War by Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden.  I gather you think it possible that not all the word is yet in on just why soldiers rape women. 

I do not have the whole picture, but I think I have an important piece of it.  It has to be due to evolution, whether social or genetic.  And from a puerile and simplistic application of Darwin, it makes no sense at all.  A lot of our pre-history and much of our history has involved local raiding.  So if a tribe is victorious and defeats another village, the last thing a warrior should do is make one of their women pregnant.  He is simply making a gift of his “good” genes to their “inferior” gene pool, and his progeny will suffer when the other village gets back together again in another generation and comes back for more.  He would be better off making them a present of a good weapon.  At least it does not automatically replicate itself.

The fact is, and it is proven and put in perspective in the enclosed 10 minute DVD, is that when a man mates outside his own family (out to say 5th cousin) his fertility is reduced significantly, even catastrophically, and importantly, this effect accumulates over generations.  By leaving the woman pregnant, he leaves a painful choice to the survivors of the vanquished.  Expel the child or woman or both?  This is a terribly destructive thing for any society.  There simply MUST be nurturing of these people.  Raise the child?  The childbearing or club wielding capacity that child represent is a valuable resource.  BUT the child’s offspring will have reduced fertility.  In the long run, the defeated village is less able to compete.  Rape enough women often enough and you could drive the village to extinction just as effectively as killing everybody who didn’t run away and hide, maybe more so.

The question arises as to why fight at all.  The answer should be pretty obvious.  Local warfare is one effective way of keeping a bunch of villages from all intermarrying and becoming one big gene pool.  That would drive them all to extinction. 

Just thought you ought to know. 

If you want to review this or learn more, please get in touch with me or spend some time looking at which is my website where I accumulate evidence and post open letters like this to people who might be able to use the information.


M. Linton Herbert MD

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