There is a term coined by sociobiology which portrays a mode of being, a mode which people who live away from wilderness or farm areas no longer intrinsically understand. The Polygynic Social Force appears in mammallian group structures. An archetypal picture of it might be that of a herd group of horned cattle, composed of a large group of cows with their calves and only one or a few bulls, living amidst external predators such as wolves. When the predators come to attack the herd for food to eat, the horned cows form a circle, head and horns out, ready to gore any wolf which dares to attack; the calves and the bull remain inside the circle, protected. Meanwhile, the bull has a strong urge to attack any other bull found in the group, attacking its own kind. The cows don't notice or don't care. As the calves mature in time, some becoming young bulls, the adult bull suddenly attacks one of them, injuring it and leaving it for food for the surrounding predators, making easy prey for the wolves. Each young bull gets injured or driven out of the safety of the herd to fend for itself among the predator wolf packs as it can; and when the cows come into estrus next time, the remaining bull, the one which has the greatest urge to attack its own kind, remains as the sole sorce of fertilizing sperm for the next generation. Eventually the old bull cannot successfully drive away some next genearation young bull, and that new contender takes the place of the old bull, it having the genes of past generations of bulls which have the most urge to attack its own kind.
Eventually the strain produces a number of equally powerful bulls within the herd, since the bulls physically weaker or with lesser urge to attack its own kind having been expelled from the safety of the herd. So the dominant bull is selected reproductively by traits of urge to attack other bulls, and also to be ever watchful of other bulls who are attempting to mate with a cow, and of when each cow comes first into estrus: the characteristic of having an extreme urge and ability to watch others of its own group. So the dominant bull reproduces most frequently when it spends its time observing others, and initiating interference to the reproduction of the competing but equally powerful other bulls of the group; and to be there first (and if possible to be the only bull there) when each cow exudes the characteristics announcing time for fertilization.
My guess is that, in terms of who survives to reproduce is who contrubutes to the genetic code of future generations, this was not a variation which improved the survivability of the species, but that it did not particularly cause the group's destruction immediately and was strongly preferable to its own reproduction instead of others. Again, this is a mammallian characteristic, strongly favors its own reproduction by elliminating those who have lesser receptivity to its urges, but does not contribute to the improvement of the species relative to ability to cope with the challenges of their changing environment.
As intelligence increased among mammallian groups, a new variation happened which strongly favored the group's survivabilitty. This was a change in the females, such that they did not exude estrus signals just once a year, but instead exuded them to some extent every day. This made the task of the dominat bull for isolating out particular cows for special watchfulness as to receptivity and interest of rival bulls very difficult, and made almost impossible the task of one bull keeping all the rival bulls from courting receptive-appearing females. A mamallian group in which every male and female are mating every day, not just once a season, makes the outplay of the Polygynic Social Force madeningly difficult, but it endlessly tries anyway. Thus the numbers of males in such groups increased, which was very successful for group survivability since those other males were able to help with the groups tasks, especially when pairing up to help a female who is with child.
Nonetheless, the old dominant-bull mamallian nature remains there as foundation to more advanced ways of being, there to suddenly play out its ancient urges when opportunity arises, still sometimes favoring reproduction of those who are especially receptive to outplay the Polygynic Social Force gladiatorial, monitoring, and interference with, the reproductive activities of others of its own kind.
It is an intrinsic part of the path of the development of our human bodies, its physical part residing in the Limbic mamallian part of the brain, and remaining a powerful but parasitical social force in human activities, ever dedicated to monitoring the reproductive activities of others of its own kind and to initiate combat with other males of its own kind. This seems a very counter-survival activity for a species given the responsibility to tend its planetary ecosystem while advancing civilization.
Author: James E. D. Cline, written on 1999 02 17.