The male sex drive is to blame for most of the world's conflicts from football hooliganism to religious disputes and, even, world wars, according to scientists.
The "male warrior" instinct means that men are programmed to be aggressive towards anyone they view as an outsider, a study said.
In evolutionary terms, an instinct for violence against others helped early men improve their status and gain more access to mates, but in modern terms this can translate into large-scale wars.
In contrast, women are naturally equipped with a "tend and befriend" attitude that means they seek to resolve conflicts peacefully in order to protect their children, researchers said.
The study, published in a journal, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, is a review of the evolutionary evidence for the so-called "male warrior hypothesis".
It claims that in every culture throughout history, men have been more likely than women to use violence when confronted by people they consider as outsiders.
The "tribal" attitude of men, ultimately aimed at boosting their chances of reproducing, is similar to the territorial behaviour of chimpanzees, it was claimed. The study also examined evidence that suggests men have a stronger sense of group identity than women, and that they will develop closer ties with others in their group if they are in competition with rivals.
Although men's hostile responses most likely evolved to combat the threat from outsiders, they "might not be functional in modern times and are often counterproductive," experts said.
Over time, this has resulted in full-scale wars between countries and empires, and also in scraps and skirmishes between rival groups of football supporters and urban gangs. Prof Mark van Vugt, who led the study, said: "A solution to conflict, which is an all too common problem in societies today, remains elusive.
"One reason for this might be the difficulty we have in changing our mindset, which has evolved over thousands of years.
"Our review of the academic literature suggests that the human mind is shaped in a way that tends to perpetuate conflict with 'outsiders'."
Prof van Vugt said the research established that conflict with other groups of men presented our ancestors with opportunities to improve their status and gain more access to territory and potential mates. He added: "We see similar behaviour in chimpanzees. For example, the males continuously monitor the borders of their territory.
"If a female from another group comes along, she may be persuaded to emigrate to his group.
"When a male strays too far, however, he is likely to be brutally beaten and possibly killed."
Research by Californian scientists in 2008 showed that the evolution of aggression and bravery in men was down to competition for mates and territory.
Their study showed that genes can have a significant impact on traits like belligerence, meaning that in the course of history the most aggressive group was singled out by natural selection.
Hunter-gatherer communities engaged in skirmishes with other, neighbouring groups, taking land, goods and women as a reward for victory.
This meant belligerence was rewarded with reproductive success, and the benefits of the trait were genetically passed down to future generations, while those lacking aggression were filtered out.
There are several historical examples linking the male sex drive and conflict, such as Genghis Khan, the Mongolian warlord, who studies suggest has 16 million direct male descendants today as a result of his appetite for women.