Friday, January 26, 2007

Religion + Testosterone = KABOOM

A recent New Yorker article cites the work of forensic psychiatrist Marc Sageman, who has studied why people--well, mostly males--become terrorists. Writing in the January 22 issue about a homegrown American terrorist, Raffi Khatchadourian discusses Sageman's "bunch of guys" hypothesis: for the guys,

ideology and political grievances played a minimal role during the initial stages of enlistment....Eventually, they would move into apartments near their mosques and build friendships around their faith and its obligations....The bunch of guys constituted a closed society that provided a sense of meaning that did not exist in the larger often became radicalized through a process akin to oneupmanship, in which members try to outdo one another in demonstrations of religious zeal.

Hmmm...I'm gaining an unexpected and frightening appreciation for the Jackass movies...

1 comment:

  1. *sigh* -- It all started with that innocent little evolutionary tool: demonstrate one's fitness, get the attention of a female, spread one's genetic pedigree. Then the big brains come along and literally blow it all up out of proportion....