Sociobiology, Science and Human Behavior

Victor J. Stevens


The best known and most controversial recent development in behavioral science is the emergence of the sociobiology movement. Using the ethology literature as a base, the sociobiologists have been stressing an evolutionary analysis of social behavior in general and making a number of speculations about the genetic basis of human behavior. These speculations have gained considerable attention in the fields of zoology, psychology and anthropology and have also been widely publicized in the popular press, including cover articles in national news magazines, feature-length reviews in major newspapers, hour-long documentary films on television, etc. In the scientific community, the growing interest in sociobiology has sparked the most spirited debates since the Vietnam war, with a number of prominent researchers taking sides. The new movement has grown to the point that there have been several national meetings on the topic, as well as special symposia at a number of recent conventions.

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