No hard feelings

5 months ago Comments Off on No hard feelings

What’s a grand-slam championship between friends?

MEN have a long history of fighting with one another for dominance, but why such duels did not leave tribal unity in tatters and warriors less capable of working together to fend off attacks from predators and hostile clans remains a mystery. One common theory is that men more readily make up after fierce physical conflicts than do women. And an experiment run recently at Harvard University, by Joyce Benenson and Richard Wrangham, and published in Current Biology, suggests this may be true.

Tribal contests like Yanamamo clubbing duels, in which men take turns bashing each other on the head until one surrenders or is knocked out, were not regarded as suitable for the Harvard campus. The researchers speculated, however, that less lethal competitive sports could stand in for such pursuits, given that they are standardised, aggressive and intense confrontations which take place in front of an audience.

To this end, they collected 92 videos of male championship tournaments in tennis, table tennis, badminton and boxing, and 88 videos of female…Continue reading
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