Male Leadership

If most societies are patrilocal, it is not surprising that men are generally the political leaders.1 A cross-cultural study found that, in about 85% of the surveyed societies, only men were the political leaders (Whyte, 1978, p. 271).

But why should men almost always be the political leaders in matrilineal systems also? We suggest that many of the most important political decisions made in a society are about offense and defense. Unfortunately, war has been an almost ubiquitous part of the ethnographic record (C. R. Ember & Ember, 1997). Just as the "economy-of-effort" theory predicts that the gender involved early in a production sequence (e.g., lumbering) will be involved in activities later in the sequence (e.g., making musical instruments), so might this theory predict that those most involved in war (e.g., the warriors) should be the most involved in political decision-making about future wars and therefore would be likely to be the political leaders. To be sure, in matrilocal societies women may not be as excluded from planning war, or other activities involving war, as in patrilocal societies. This difference between matrilocal and patrilocal societies is suggested by a cross-cultural study of women's involvement in war (Adams, 1983). In that study, societies practicing local exogamy and societies with internal warfare were the least likely to have women involved in war. Such societies are also likely to be patrilocal, with single-lineage communities. Adams (1983) suggests that the conflicting loyalties of wives (who may come from "enemy" communities) would lead the men to isolate women from knowledge about war plans and access to weapons. For this reason too, we might expect that patrilocal societies would be likely to exclude women from political leadership.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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