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Psychopathy is a disorder, not an adaptation

According to Merriam Webster online a pet peeve is something that annoys or bothers a person very much. One of my pet peeves is people of all sorts who say that psychopathy is “fascinating” or worse even assert that it is “beneficial”. There is nothing fascinating or beneficial about a disorder that is linked to child rape and murder of innocent victims and countless ruined lives. It also bothers me that professionals who talk about psychopathy in this way are sought after by the press.

Several months ago a lovefraud reader forwarded me an article I had not seen. Nepotistic patterns of violent psychopathy: evidence for adaptation? Linda and I wrote a comment on this paper and that comment has just been published. The comment argues that psychopathy is not an adaptation but is instead a “spandrel.” The word spandrel in evolutionary psychology is analogous to the architectural term. A spandrel, (also spelled spandril or splaundrel), is The roughly triangular wall space between two adjacent arches. This space has no meaning other than it is there because of other important features.

Psychopathy as a spandrel

Psychopathy as a spandrel

In my opinion psychopathy as no meaning outside of selection for high mating effort (sex drive) and social dominance. Both of these confer advantage when they are found in people who are able to love and care for others. To understand why psychopathy exists we simply need to understand the advantages of sex drive and dominance. We do not have to assume human predators are somehow “superior” beings.

To read our paper visit Is psychopathy a disorder or an adaptation? Please recommend the article on your social network if you agree with the article. If you choose to comment please do so respecting the scientific nature of the discussion.

Just remember spandrel… scoundrel same difference!


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52 Comments on "Psychopathy is a disorder, not an adaptation"

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As a strict aside, this terrible tragedy certainly puts my issues into perspective. I may have been emotionally and financially ruined, but I’m still alive and I have the choice to recover, or not. These innocent people didn’t have a choice.

Individual lives, a community, and a Nation were shattered, yesterday, by the foolish choices actions of a selfish nutbag. I have much to be grateful for, today, and I feel grievous loss that will forever alter the face of our culture.

Brightest blessings

Psychopathy is a mental disorder. I too was a lucky one. The ex spath told me that his spath brother was going for skeet lessons, and our heads would be blown off. I was also threatened with a home invasion. God was truly protecting me. Disordered families keep their secrets under wrap. They have their inner circle. The spath flees when he knows the mask is unveiling, and you have found out. Everyone speaks of the addictive relationship with a spath, but what is so addictive about being emotionally abused, physically abused, and raped of your personality?
Our inner soul must heal from the aftermath, but it does not mean we will never trust again. We know the red flags,
and are now aware of them.

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