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Testing the Paleolithic-human-warfare hypothesis of blood-injectiion phobia in the Balitmore ECA Follow-up Study-Towards a more etiologically-based conceptualization for DSM-V

Bracha, Dr. Stefan and Bienvenu, Dr. O. Joseph and Eaton, Dr. William W. (2006) Testing the Paleolithic-human-warfare hypothesis of blood-injectiion phobia in the Balitmore ECA Follow-up Study-Towards a more etiologically-based conceptualization for DSM-V. [Journal (Paginated)] (In Press)

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Abstract

Objective: The research agenda for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) has emphasized the need for a more etiologically-based classification system, especially for stress-induced and fear-circuitry disorders. Testable hypotheses based on threats to survival during particular segments of the human era of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) may be useful in developing a brain-evolution-based classification for the wide spectrum of disorders ranging from disorders which are mostly overconsolidationally such as PTSD, to fear-circuitry disorders which are mostly innate such as specific phobias. The recently presented Paleolithic-human-warfare hypothesis posits that blood–injection phobia can be traced to a “survival (fitness) enhancing” trait, which evolved in some females of reproductive-age during the millennia of intergroup warfare in the Paleolithic EEA. The study presented here tests the key a priori prediction of this hypothesis—that current blood–injection phobia will have higher prevalence in reproductive-age women than in post-menopausal women. Method: The Diagnostic Interview Schedule (version III-R) , which included a section on blood and injection phobia, was administered to 1920 subjects in the Baltimore ECA Follow-up Study. Results: Data on BII phobia was available on 1724 subjects (1078 women and 646 males) . The prevalence of current blood– injection phobia was 3.3% in women aged 27–49 and 1.1% in women over age 50 (OR 3.05, 95% CI 1.20–7.73) . [The corresponding figures for males were 0.8% and 0.7% (OR 1.19, 95% CI 0.20–7.14)] . Conclusions: This epidemiological study provides one source of support for the Paleolithic-human-warfare (Paleolithic-threat) hypothesis regarding the evolutionary (distal) etiology of bloodletting-related phobia, and may contribute to a more brain- evolution-based re-conceptualization and classification of this fear circuitry-related trait for the DSM-V. In addition, the finding reported here may also stimulate new research directions on more proximal mechanisms which can lead to the development of evidence-based psychopharmacological preventive interventions for this common and sometimes disabling fear-circuitry disorder.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:Brain evolution; Sexual selection; Mate choice; War; Anxiety disorders
Subjects:Biology > Evolution
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
ID Code:5036
Deposited By:Bracha, Stefan
Deposited On:01 Aug 2006
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56

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