Letters — 11 November 2014
Human warfare

Dear Editor,

Human warfare continues to be a problem in the world today. Several factors may contribute to this, such as high level of hormones and the environment. Gang violence in Belize City has drastically increased each year, and the populace is stunned by this predicament.

Belize, a beautiful country in Central America, with a population of 350,000 people, one would assume that the murder rate would not be high. Biology may contribute to human warfare, but the environment should also be taken into consideration.

Warfare is defined as a conflict between two mass enemies. “Human warfare is a perennial problem, and since human beings are living organisms, it seems logical to suppose that at least some of the bases of warfare lie in the biological organization.”

Professor Siamak Naficy highlighted the correlation between hormones and human behavior. High testosterone in males may lead to aggressive behavior, which then can contribute to human warfare.

Nevertheless, when looking at gang violence and human warfare, it can never be heredity, for a person is not born with war mentality.

In my view, human warfare is about nurture, meaning the environmental factors that influence people to behave in a hostile manner. For example, I grew up in Southside Belize near a gang zone and had to defend myself, fighting at times.

As long as humans exist, warfare will never end. However, it can be reduced by intervention, change in policy, and support from the public. There will always be critics from in and out groups, since people have diverse value preferences.

On the other hand, the enemies are not always outsiders. Gang violence is not solely gang against gang, but gang members also fight among themselves for leadership roles and status.

Despite the link between high testosterone and human behavior, this does not mean that male aggression is caused only by these factors. Thus, I maintain my stance that human warfare will never change, for it is part of human nature as well as the environment.

Kenrick Lincoln Martinez, Sr.

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