Skip to comments.Elephant Lessons: Real Men Leading Boys to Manhood [males raised by single mothers turn violent]
Posted on 02/04/2013 4:25:08 PM PST by grundle
Violence and bizarre aggressive behaviors among young male elephants has increased dramatically over the course of a few decades.
A team of researchers, trauma experts and neuropsychologists among them, studied the causes and found a way to resolve the elephant violence. Their findings can help us understand why we need mature men leading boys to manhood and to guide for those coming into renewed manhood following the overthrow of repressive regimes. The lessons require connecting three dots.
1. The social development systems of male elephants.
2. The abuse of women in oppressive regimes.
3. Boy Gangs A poor substitute for real men leading boys to manhood
Facts: The increased violence by male elephants included killing members of their own species, raping and killing rhinoceroses, and attacking humans. Intraspecies killings rose from 6% of all elephant deaths to 90% in one of the most affected areas of South Africa. The increased violence began after throngs of young males witnessed the killing of adult males. These fatherless elephants were subsequently raised by young single elephant mothers.
In Elephant Breakdown, Gay Bradshaw and her fellow researchers declared that elephant populations were suffering from chronic species-wide post traumatic stress syndrome resulting from decades of poaching and culling elephant herds. Other effects included disruptions to elephant culture and societal relations, among them the traditions by which young elephants had been raised in the wild, and by which established elephant herds were governed. Bradshaw and her fellow researchers believe this led to a collapse of elephant culture and was at the root the increased violence by, among and between elephants.
Normal development of the male elephants brain and culturally normative behavior relies on a second phase of socialization (beyond and after mother-nurturing) in which adult males play a critical role.
Repeat: In which adult males play a critical role.
This period and a second stage of brain reorganization also occurs in human adolescents. During this phase neural connections rearrange themselves en masse.
The Elephant Solution
When older males were re-introduced to the male herds (read gangs) the rogue adolescent males stopped engaging in hyper-aggressive behaviors and abnormally early musth cycles (periods of heightened sexual activity and hormonal shifts).
Repeat: Hyperaggressive and early periods of sexual activity (rape) both ceased.
Supervision? Role-modeling? Some believe it also had to do with the biochemical odor of adult male hormones calming the hormones of the adolescent males.
Violence and Abuse of Women in Oppressive Regimes
Moving on to dot number two:
The best judge of whether or not a country is going to develop is how it treats its women. President Barack Obama
Women throughout the world are subject to violence and sexual abuse, but it seems the abuse and dehumanization is greater in oppressive regimes. Like the elephants, men (and women) in these cultures observe the culling, dehumanization and poaching of the herd, and more specifically of the healthy adult males.
In November 2011, Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian born U.S. based journalist was attacked, arrested and sexually abused by the military regime temporarily ruling the country following the overthrow of Hosni Mubaraks oppressive Egyptian regime.
What happens when
Fathers and would-be guides of adolescent boys are victims of oppression?
Young boys witness the oppression, arrest, brutalization and killing of their fathers?
Young men are then raised without male mentors during the human equivalent of musth?
Are the young men, like the elephants, more prone to violence against weaker members, women among them?
Elephant Society Male Development
Elephants are social creatures. Young elephants are raised within an extended network of doting female caregivers that includes the birth mother, grandmothers, aunts and friends. These relations are maintained over a span of some 70 years. Young elephants stay within 15 feet of their mothers for almost all of their first eight years of life, after which young females are socialized into the matriarchal network, while young males go off for a time into an all-male social group before coming back into the fold as mature adults.
When an elephant dies, there are intense mourning and burial rituals, including vigils over the body, careful burials, caressing the bones with their trunks, If harm comes to a member of an elephant group, all the other elephants are aware of it. Elephants have an elaborate communication system. To pass along news about imminent threats or the death of a community member, they use patterns of subsonic vibrations that are felt as far as several miles away by sensors in the padding of their feet.
When these systems and rituals are disrupted, strange things happen such as increased violence and aggressive behaviors by adolescent males who have witnessed their fathers being murdered and now have to grow up without the second and important phase of develop which takes place in all male social groups.
Men Leading Boys to Manhood
The solution among the elephants involved bringing adult males into the herd. The violence and aggressive behavior ceased.
Might this be a solution to curbing the increased violence by gangs and young men who grow up in oppressive regimes?
These boys, not-yet-men, often witness the jailing, abuse, disappearance or murder of their fathers. Social fabrics and familial networks are torn. As a result, young men are not guided through the critical second phase of development by mature evolved male social groups. (Humans, like the elephants, undergo considerable brain reorganization and growth during adolescence.)
I see heads exploding!
My wife is betting that they are too stupid to see the parallels.
She's probably right.
Raping rhinos? I’d like to see more evidence of that. I’ve read tons of African hunting/adventure books and have never heard of that.
Maybe the books are from a time before herds were that badly affected, or else they are hushing up things that might make over-hunting look bad.
I did some research, and found sources about young elephants killing rhinos. Apparently the older males are “culled” by game control officers thus unbalancing the social order (yes, they have one) where the young bulls would accompany the older males and learn. Thus, the younger males do go into musth earlier than usual (probably a means of keeping the population up when the prime breeding males are absent) and become aggressive. They fight and kill the rhinos where the older males would ignore or let them go. I didn’t find any credible items about “raping” although there are references.
Elephant hunting is a thing of the past. Most countries where there are hunters with enough money to afford it do not allow the importation of ivory (banned in mid-80’s) so when they over populate and start to destroy crops the game departments cull them. Also poachers go after the old males with tusks.
One COULD say the crops intruded on the elephants’ grazing lands /PETA
Anyhow, I believe limited ivory is now available today, when it comes from such locally authorized wildlife authority culling elephants.
Until that reverses, Dems will run around with their hair on fire, blaming guns for a societal violence that has at it's root a severely diminished patriarchal role in the nuclear family.
“When pop culture decided any male role model was as good as, and sometimes better than, the real father, the kids were headed for predictable damage for generations.”
At this point the optimal “father” for a boy is NOT the real father (usually portrayed as a POS), but the compassionate understanding metrosexual who wants a relationship with the boy’s mother (and loves her child so much he never seems to want his own). Nature (and the news) clearly indicate this is BS; when a new alpha male takes over a baboon troop, he spends a few days killing any children of his predecessor (despite the efforts of the mothers to prevent it). When they are dead he can mate with the mothers.
This happens EVERY DAY in the nearby Newark NJ welfare reservation; while some stepfathers are wonderful people, and some are better “fathers” than the real fathers, statistically it is a disaster for the children. In my experience (as a son and a father) nobody will ever love a child as much as the biological parents (I know some disagree with this, but this is my experience).
As for taking cues from nature there are plenty of examples of dysfunctional mothers of various species eating their own young. I don't think that we need to take lessons from them, but as is apparent from humans and the abortion rate, there are plenty of people that love children more than their biological parents.
“Anyhow, I believe limited ivory is now available today, when it comes from such locally authorized wildlife authority culling elephants.”
I didn’t know that, thanks for the info FRiend.
“Let me see if I understand you correctly. Nobody ie:a male could ever love a child as much as the biological father, who may have abandoned said child, beaten the mother and or child, etc.”
In my experience (again, as a son and a father) these situations never arose. Read my last sentence.
I know females can be as bad as males when it comes to parenting; in our own local “Susan Smith” story, a young mother in Paterson NJ threw her young son over the Paterson Falls one night because she couldn’t find a babysitter and wanted to party.