Why do soldiers get a kick out of killing?

soldiers killing

Wrangham asserts that natural selection embedded in both male humans and chimpanzees—our closest genetic relatives—an innate propensity for “intergroup coalitionary killing” [pdf], in which members of one group attack members of a rival group. Male humans “enjoy the opportunity” to kill others, Wrangham says, especially if they run little risk of being killed themselves. […]

The reluctance of ordinary men to kill can be overcome by intensified training, direct commands from officers, long-range weapons and propaganda that glorifies the soldier’s cause and dehumanizes the enemy. “With the proper conditioning and the proper circumstances, it appears that almost anyone can and will kill,” Grossman writes. Many soldiers who kill enemies in battle are initially exhilarated, Grossman says, but later they often feel profound revulsion and remorse, which may transmute into post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments. Indeed, Grossman believes that the troubles experienced by many combat veterans are evidence of a “powerful, innate human resistance toward killing one’s own species.”

Scientific American Guest Blog: Why soldiers get a kick out of killing

(via Wikileaks)

4 Comments

  1. I talked to a soldier in Iraq about what it is like to kill people for a while on Chat Roulette.

    He said that you are so far away from the person, there is a disconnect between the time you pull the trigger and when “a little red spot opens up on their body”, that it doesn’t even feel like killing at all.

  2. i dont know who is stupid here, but this is very dumb! they will regret it the rest of their lives just like the soldiers in veitnam.

    they think they are helping and its not working so you get some young shlup w/ a gun to take his aggression out on innocent people like
    bob kerry (sen. nebraska)

    just stop the war. that would be something to be proud of.

  3. this is a very odd question, but i guess people have the right to know. as an infantry soldier you see more things that taunt you then the killing alone, ie:dead bodies,lost children,dismemberd people walking around,familys ruined,Ive seen three family members melted into there van. Or clearing a house with 5 targets bunkerd up inside.killing is not fun and the thought alone can make you sick to your stomach. But as for the killing for the joy aspect, Youd have to be an imbreed of some kind. trigger happy cunts arn’t tolerated in the CF.
    The way i see it is, they hurt one of yours, your gonna get that adrenaline pumping and you may scream a few comments while firing your rifle. Others may think your enjoying it, but deep down your so scared and the screaming and name calling becomes your stress release. Also ive never met a man who said he was proud of what he did. Personally writing this is part of my PTSD RP program. its 4:30 and i cant sleep. another part of our lives is dealing with it after it’s done. hope this helps a little.

  4. a little extra input on the first response. It’s not the same when your upclose though. Becomes a new story. Consider yourself lucky if you spot an enemy from a distance.

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