socialethology | There is a hypothesis according to which the lack of accessible women for sexual relationships and marriage in Moslem polygamous societies would be one of the causes of the spread of suicidal terrorism’s phenomenon in our times.
A lot of young men who have an insufficiently high status to get women chose the path of suicidal terrorism, because they have the conviction that, after their death, according to the Quran, they would get into Heaven, where they would enjoy the company of 72 virgins. Given the fact that a lot of men are practically excluded from the reproductive process, even a vague promise regarding the access to women, as that from the Islamic precepts is, is pretty persuasive.
Our brains are designed to work after the same principles as they were 100.000 years ago, when there were only real things; today, when we have to face abstract or artificial things, our brains keep perceiving them as being real and touchable. This is why the abstract promise of the life to come is perceived as being realistic and those 72 virgins are seen as an authentic war trophy that is offered to the bravest martyrs [ibid., p. 12].
It is curios the fact that the terrorist organization Al Qaeda has had the greatest support in the most polygamous countries: Afganistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, but not in Turkey, where polygamy is forbidden since 1920. It is considered that one way to diminish the support for terrorism in those countries is to emancipate the women and to gradually liquidate polygamy, in order to reduce the number of men who are excluded from the reproductive process .
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, made once an eccentric comment, is his unique way, as regarding the factors that motivate young men to become terrorists. Referring to the fighters for the Islamic State (ISIS), Johnson said that, if one were to study carefully the psychological profile of jihadis (presented in a report from British secret service MI5), one would notice that they are obsessed with pornography.
Johnson said: “If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally wankers. Severe onanists”. He continued: “They are just young men in desperate need of self-esteem who do not have a particular mission in life, who feel that they are losers and this thing makes them feel strong – like winners.” .
In general, the role of sexual frustration in the genesis of terrorist behavior is intensely analyzed in the writings of evolutionary psychology and they will produce a change of perspective in assessing the phenomenon of terrorism [Thayer, Hudson, 2010; Caluya, 2013].