Indexing & Abstracting
OpinionDOI Number : 10.36811/ijpmh.2023.110020Article Views : 0Article Downloads : 1
Sex and Radicalism: A Sociobiological Approach
Saeed Shoja Shafti*
Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, New York, USA
*Corresponding Author: Saeed Shoja Shafti, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, New York, USA; Email email@example.com
Aritcle Type: Opinion
Citation: Saeed Shoja Shafti. 2023. Sex and Radicalism: A Sociobiological Approach. Int J Psychiatr Ment Health. 5: 29-34.
Copyright: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Copyright © 2023; Saeed Shoja Shafti
Publication history:Received date: 24 March, 2023
Accepted date: 06 April, 2023
Published date: 10 April, 2023
While Freud believed that sexuality, in general, has, ontogenetically, an important role in the development of personality and mental structure, and, phylogenetically, in the growth of the civilization of human beings, by means of repression and sublimation of unconscious drives , some of his opponents criticized him and stated that his theories, including structural format of character and topographical division of mental apparatus, are not more than a pseudoscience because they lack enough scientific evidence and he could not ever substantiate his theories in line with acceptable, systematic and measurable quantitative methods. On the other hand, Freud believed that science could be divided, on the whole, into psychology and non-psychology. Currently, social sciences, which includes psychology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology etc., may demand qualitative research, as well, in addition to known qualitative research. For example, hermeneutic and applied psychoanalysis, in contrast to neuro-psychoanalysis or experimental psychology, demands mainly qualitative research for substantiation of its theories and formulations. On the other hand, qualitative studies demand enough samples, time and data, which, methodically, differs from quantitative research and its provision is not always easy or possible. It is somewhat similar to philosophical studies, which are principally based on thoughtful deductions, not numerical measurements.
While Freud believed that sexuality, in general, has, ontogenetically, an important role in the development of personality and mental structure, and, phylogenetically, in the growth of the civilization of human beings, by means of repression and sublimation of unconscious drives , some of his opponents criticized him and stated that his theories, including structural format of character and topographical division of mental apparatus, are not more than a pseudoscience because they lack enough scientific evidence and he could not ever substantiate his theories in line with acceptable, systematic and measurable quantitative methods. On the other hand, Freud believed that science could be divided, on the whole, into psychology and non-psychology. Currently, social sciences, which includes psychology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology etc., may demand qualitative research, as well, in addition to known qualitative research. For example, hermeneutic and applied psychoanalysis, in contrast to neuropsychoanalysis or experimental psychology, demands mainly qualitative research for substantiation of its theories and formulations. On the other hand, qualitative studies demand enough samples, time and data, which, methodically, differs from quantitative research and its provision is not always easy or possible. It is somewhat similar to philosophical studies, which are principally based on thoughtful deductions, not numerical measurements.
Anyway, it is not deniable that, at least academically, primitive crowds could not turn into cultivated civilizations without repression of aggressive and sexual drives and their sublimation into creative abilities. On the other hand, the dialectical approach of Freud, by encountering ego against id, super-ego against ego, secondary process thinking against primary process thinking and consciousness against unconsciousness, which together and during a ceaseless challenge with parents, siblings, others and surroundings shape mentality of human beings, may make psychoanalytic findings palpable for just applied or clinical psychoanalysis; not for individuals, who are unfamiliar with the main techniques of analysis. Similarly, psychoanalytic theories cannot be established without practical comprehension of them by multiple skilled psychoanalysts, during frequent analytic sessions and over thousands of hours of practice. On the other hand, disregard to psychosexual concepts of sexuality, which implies more than only genital sex and sexual relationships, no society or civilization could ever survive without reproduction and giving birth to a high number of descendants. It is evident that each society involves numerous nuclear families, including men, women and children; a formulary which has been consolidated evolutionarily and is being repeated sequentially. Accordingly, while accumulation of nuclear families produces communities, every new generation matures and, subsequently, after mating, produces the subsequent generation, a cycle which is being synchronized routinely, and through proximate mechanisms and preprogrammed behaviors and emotions; a process which, ultimately, makes the possibility of survival of a community available. The said mechanisms, which have been shaped by natural selection, are being formulated or analyzed by Neo-Darwinism or sociobiology , which believes in the importance of continued existence of genes and the necessity of their transference, generation by generation, for survival of the genetic pool of colonies, communities or nations, in brief. Accordingly, if, due to any reason, the said vital cycle is being blocked or interrupted, the survival of that civilization will be endangered.
Theoretically, if the said obstruction becomes longer than the average child bearing age of a generation, which is comparable to the child bearing age of a woman [15-45 years old], and repeats over and over or endures for an indefinite period, then that community may become smaller and smaller and may eventually be annihilated; though the real situation is not usually so simple or concrete. However, like ordinary people, who, through evolution, are equipped with natural or artificial tools for defense against diseases or disasters for maintenance of their life, a society, too, as a collection of persons with similar demographic or sociocultural physiognomies [in a few words, analogous genes], may involve some defensive mechanisms, which are working consciously or unconsciously for survival of related colony or community. For example, while civil laws or rubrics have been invented and implemented thoughtfully to make social living likely, altruism and patriotism may be known as reflexive mechanisms for survival of relatives, society and homeland . Comparably, narcissism, which is indispensable for the survival of human beings, may be expressed politically as nationalism, or even, radically, in the shape of fascism . Biologically, like fever, which is in itself an unpleasant symptom but is part of the natural defense mechanism [immune system] against sepsis, punishment or execution of offenders, as well, are unpleasant performances, but necessary social responses against detrimental components of the community; performances, which have been allowed legally and conservatively by the legislative system of every society. Similarly, while war is commonly a taboo, no society may condemn defense against the enemy due to philosophical pacifism. Therefore, survival of a community and its gene pool may not be possible without some unavoidable sacrifices or costs, which are started, also, by endless working, mating, childbearing, training, and ultimate death of the older generation and the appearance of the newer generation. Additionally, sacrificing personal liberty or life is sometimes unavoidable for the sake of the continued existence of family, tribe or community, for example during warfare .
Then again, similar to fatal autoimmune disorders, which are due to life-threatening expression of natural defense mechanisms, the said social surviving mechanisms, too, may sometimes be expressed awfully or destructively. However, differentiation between ordinary and extreme, also, is not always an easy task. For instance, while suicide is usually acknowledged as an emergency psychiatric condition that demands appropriate and immediate intervention and management, altruism during combat is known as an honorable maneuver, which should be, publicly, encouraged and appreciated. In the same way, homicide, which is, lawfully, a crime, is permitted and necessary during battles. Also, Machiavellianism, which is ethically prohibited, is a usual means in politics or political competitions. Aggression, moreover, has an analogous silhouette.
Therefore, there are many issues which should be evaluated abstractly or from a multidimensional outlook, not concretely or one-sidedly. So, among different mechanisms for survival of a community, as an emblematic body or organism, there may be some social processes, which may be expressed erratically, extremely, aggressively or even fatally, similar to the said fever, autoimmune diseases or malignancies. On the other hand, while stress may induce mammalians to postpone reproduction [4,5], there is a correlation between sexual arousal and aggression . Such an inter-relationship between sexuality, emotion and mentality, depending on circumstances, may be constructive or destructive, if its gradient is, metaphorically and respectively, derived from libido [Eros] or resulting from aggression [Thanatos]. Thus, on a social basis, if reproduction is accounted for as the outcome of constructive sex, aggression or radicalism may be supposed, at least sometimes, as the likely and reflexive outcome of introverted, repressed or obstructed sex. Accordingly, and hypothetically, while the said negative formulation at a personal level may increase the risk of individual misconduct or extremism, collectively, it may result in radical sociopolitical exhibitions or theorizations. As a general rule, a theory may involve an answer to a question, or a general perspective regarding the surroundings, or a plan for achievement of a specific wish, depending on the thinker, situation, data or problem.
For example, in replacement theory, which, according to its believers, is based, in brief, on changeover of more civilized or developed nationals by more mediocre or developing residents , the problem may be explicated as a lower procreation in the first group and higher reproduction in the second group of people; a quantifiable difference, which has derived from cultural reform or social alteration in the first group. For example, at this time, elites or educated people may get married at an older time of life, may prefer fewer children, and may break up more or sooner than the illiterate public, traditional folks or spiritual believers. Therefore, perhaps it is an unavoidable replacement, not a premeditated intrigue, especially when, due to globalization strategies, immigration of work forces from developing countries has been facilitated by developed countries, and reception of refugees, who are running away from local geopolitical conflicts has been promoted due to humanistic motives. On the other hand, lower reproduction in developed countries may necessitate increasing the import of human capital, if more municipal, industrial or social development is required. Anyway, from a sociobiological standpoint, radical ideas of some of the proponents of replacement theory may be considered as the frantic expression or protest of a cluster of irritated genes, which perceive themselves on the verge of annihilation, and, therefore, their radical maneuvers may be comparable to detrimental [self-harm] action of autoantibodies in autoimmune disorders, which have been produced exceedingly, but misguidedly, against a series of identified or unidentified pathogens, or may be comparable to side effects of medications, which have been created essentially for treatment of diseases, not induction of unexpected result. Anyhow, though replacement theory is in fact an egoistic idea, which is based on selfishness of genes, its solution, in brief, may only demand a higher rate of reproduction in communities which feel vulnerability with respect to their own uniqueness or existence. Accordingly, it seems that radical theories, hostilities, threatening maneuvers or massacres may not redeem a lower rate of proliferation.
Even if, in the frame of the conspiracy theory and in line with a preplanned malevolent agenda, extinction of some specific race, community or group has been planned by enemies, the said radical approaches should be substituted by sound and legal activities for the rise of reproduction, like financial aids, appropriate insurance, availability of specific services for treatment of infertility, and designation of appropriate target groups, which are traditionally ready for having more progenies. No doubt, the complexities of modern life and the industrialization of societies may have forced many people, from different socioeconomic classes, to postpone, willingly or unwillingly, marriage and parenting, particularly in sophisticated societies. On the other hand, other types of radicalism are evident, which, while they do not seem to have any overt association with sexuality, may not be devoid of sexual implications, too. It is not deniable that, forensically or etiologically, sex may be an important component or instigator of many crimes, suicides or homicides. As said before, historically and from a sociobiological view, sex is the only catalyzer for transferring genes from an earlier generation to the next generation, which should be repeated sequentially and ceaselessly, if a community wishes survival . So, maybe, whatever that interferes with this evolutionary process, which has been imprinted genetically, may instigate agitation and misconduct, at an individual level, and riot, on a social basis. But, how such inconsequential and scattered personal agitations may turn into significant and joint social unrest? Perhaps, when the said interference or blockade becomes collective, for example during an economic or political mayhem, which may prevent adults from timely marriage, or may stop them, repeatedly or indefinitely, having a child or an adequate number of children; end-results, which together may lead ultimately to shrinkage and annihilation of a community. Though people are living individually, their collective unconscious, as said by Jung , or shared evolutionary tasks, in line with a sociobiological standpoint , may link them together. Incidentally, if instincts are innate and universal, then their expression or suppression, as well, may have similar expressions or outcomes, whether individually or collectively.
For instance, if the political economy of a society is not answering properly the necessities of its constituents [public and nuclear families], riots may be accounted for as the inevitable outcome of the impassivity of a non-responsive system. In such a system, a protestor may act like abdominal cramps of an empty stomach, in its nonthreatening style, or aberrant mitosis of a malignant cell, in its threatening variety. Similarly, fatal connective tissue due to autoantibodies of an uncontrollable immune system, or lethal septic shock due to septicemia, and cell necrosis due to release of calcium in the cytoplasm of an irritated cell, or premature apoptosis [pre-programmed cell death] of brain neurons due to excessive secretion of stress hormones, like cortisol, are reactions which are, entirely, annoying consequences of a series of, apparently, natural reactions, which have become, due to any reason, irrepressible. So, social riots and resulting merciless hostility, also, may have roots in the disturbance of reproduction of a group of people, who cannot transfer their genes timely or aptly. Though such an objective is being directed biologically, it is being reflected behaviorally and tries, unconsciously, to restore an earlier acceptable condition, which was more appropriate for nesting, mating and parenthood. On the other hand, though the concept of 'optimum situation' is not identical for everyone and may be defined personally, based on private ideas or social class, protection of self, relatives and associated community, in general, seems to be a, more or less, universal drive in every one. On the other hand, by and large, among different social classes, the middle class seems to be more vulnerable than the privileged or working class, because its members usually have elites' wishes, while lacking their assets, and are not as tolerant as the working class for handling difficulties. So, while, politically, an increase in young people has been declared as one of the plausible precipitators of war , critical decrease in reproduction, as well, especially in traditional communities, which culturally support having more children, may be regarded as a predictor of upcoming agitation by people who may not perform their evolutionary duty for surviving associated gene pool. On the other hand, since such an agitation is due to a challenge between survival and annihilation of the gene pool, it may be colored with extreme hostility or incomprehensible mercilessness, which is expressed, ostensibly, due to different non-sexual sociopolitical issues. Accordingly, if a logical attitude or dispute cannot correct the intervening barricades, its emotional matching part may try to collapse them totally and create a new milieu for manifestation of endangered instinctual drives . Since, from a sociobiological viewpoint, power, money, fun and sex can be accounted for as mediatory and proximate tools or mechanisms for ultimate endurance of the gene pool, poverty per se may not be accounted for as the most important factor [11,12], unless it causes the said critical stoppage of reproduction. On the other hand, while, as said by some evolutionary psychologists , depression can be accounted for as a kind of flight for avoiding impending fight, or it may be due to failure of the said evolutionary tasks , it may prepare the mindset for radical maneuvers, as well . So, in addition to suicide, which can be a kind of political protest, as well, radical maneuvers may be performed easily by a hopeless person, who has lost his vitality and motivation due to induced learned-helplessness in an unfavorable milieu .
Though, as stated by Marx, history is created by human beings' activity, emotions make its fuel and genes determine its orientation. So, it is, metaphorically, presumable that an unsatisfied selfish gene prefers to change any unfavorable condition and tries to gratify its egoism and continued existence; otherwise it may expect nothing except than anguish or extinction. likewise, general antagonism against people with atypical sexual inclinations may have root in this unconscious notion that increasing number of such kind of people [or genes] may decrease chance of increase of ordinary people, who can proliferate by their straight sexual orientation, and may, thus, lead to shrinkage or ultimate disappearance of typical community; an end-result, which is, again, tragic for normal egotistical genes, which, intrinsically, demand constant proliferation. Accordingly, whatever has created such a cluster of aberrant sexual inclinations, like mutation, conditioning or learning, may contradict the essence of survival, which demands customary sexual behavior. Though, qualitatively or quantitatively, such kinds of people may serve their community acceptably, they may not do that fully, because they cannot increase the number of people [transporters of a gene pool] by having regular sex and delivering progenies, as newer generations of transporters, and, in consequence, they, involuntarily, increase the uncultivable, infertile or unproductive pole of society. So, merciless antagonism against such a group of people may have root in the said drive, which, though may fail to justify consciously or logically its resentment, acts out unconsciously or instinctively according to its ultimate evolutionary tasks or expectations. In this regard, though, consistent with Ludwig Feuerbach’s emblematic viewpoint , maybe we are nothing except what we eat, we do nothing except what has been determined by our genes. Anyway, while the said formulations regarding interrelationship between genes, sex and aggression, which may be expressed in the shape of individual or social radicalism, seem to be some theoretical debates in the realm of evolutionary psychology, they may be helpful, also, in the field of political psychology, as plausible causes of individual or social agitation, in addition to other known causes of political uproars .
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