UCLA » College » Social Sciences » Anthropology
Events
Date
February 26, 2018
Time
12:00pm to 1:30pm
Location
Haines 352 Reading Room
Contact

uclabec@gmail.com

MATTHEW ZEFFERMAN, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Combat veterans in western industrialized societies can develop a collection of symptoms classified as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The origins of PTSD are a mystery. Some posit that it has deep evolutionary roots as a mechanism for avoiding and responding to harm. Others posit that it is socially constructed and perhaps unique to industrialized societies. I propose, with a gene-culture co-evolutionary theory of combat stress, that both perspectives are partially right and incomplete. This theory explains additional puzzling aspects of combat stress, such as the origins of "moral injury." I support this new theory with evidence from ethnographic research and interviews with Turkana warriors from northern Kenya.

The BEC Speaker Series hosts presentations by renowned scholars from across the social, behavioral, and biological sciences whose work sheds light on human evolution, including issues of cultural transmission, behavioral ecology, affect, cognition, and health.