Navigation Links
Multiple fathers prevalent in Amazonian cultures
Date:11/10/2010

COLUMBIA, Mo. In modern culture, it is not considered socially acceptable for married people to have extramarital sexual partners. However, in some Amazonian cultures, extramarital sexual affairs were common, and people believed that when a woman became pregnant, each of her sexual partners would be considered part-biological father. Now, a new University of Missouri study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that up to 70 percent of Amazonian cultures may have believed in the principle of multiple paternity.

"In these cultures, if the mother had sexual relations with multiple men, people believed that each of the men was, in part, the child's biological father," said Robert Walker, assistant professor of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Science. "It was socially acceptable for children to have multiple fathers, and secondary fathers often contributed to their children's upbringing."

Walker says sexual promiscuity was normal and acceptable in many traditional South American societies. He says married couples typically lived with the wife's family, which he says increased their sexual freedom.

"In some Amazonian cultures, it was bad manners for a husband to be jealous of his wife's extramarital partners," Walker said. "It was also considered strange if you did not have multiple sexual partners. Cousins were often preferred partners, so it was especially rude to shun their advances."

Previous research had uncovered the existence of multiple paternity in some Amazonian cultures. However, anthropologists did not realize how many societies held the belief. Walker's team analyzed ethnographies (the branch of anthropology that deals descriptively with cultures) of 128 societies across lowland South America, which includes Brazil and many of the surrounding countries. Multiple paternity is reported to appear in 53 societies, and singular paternity is mentioned in 23 societies. Ethnographies for 52 societies do not mention conception beliefs.

Walker's team has several hypotheses on the benefits of multiple paternity. Women believed that by having multiple sexual partners they gained the benefit of larger gene pools for their children. He says women benefited from the system because secondary fathers gave gifts and helped support the child, which has been shown to increase child survival rates. In addition, brutal warfare was common in ancient Amazonia, and should the mother become a widow, her child would still have a father figure.

Men benefitted from the multiple paternity system because they were able to formalize alliances with other men by sharing wives. Walker hypothesizes that multiple paternity also strengthened family bonds, as brothers often shared wives in some cultures.

Walker collaborated with Mark Flinn, professor in the MU Department of Anthropology, and Kim Hill, professor in Arizona State University's School of Human Evolution and Social Change.


'/>"/>

Contact: Steven Adams
AdamsST@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Multiple sclerosis will become a controlled disease like AIDS
2. Radiation therapy improves painful condition associated with multiple sclerosis
3. TGen-Mayo Clinic study discovers role of DNA methylation in multiple myeloma blood cancer
4. Results of the placement of multiple endoscopic stents for postoperative biliary strictures remains excellent after long-term follow-up
5. Clinic puts patients at heart of multiple sclerosis research
6. Multiple Sclerosis Changes With the Seasons
7. New studies question vascular multiple sclerosis hypothesis and treatment
8. Multiple sclerosis -- antihypertensive drug ameliorate inflammation in the brain
9. Breast cancer cells regulate multiple genes in response to estrogen-like compounds
10. University at Buffalo launches clinical trial of new multiple sclerosis treatment
11. Clinical Trial Testing New Multiple Sclerosis Treatment to Launch in Buffalo
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Usually, the impending arrival of ... However, for those self-conscious about a double chin, this means more anxiety than elation. ... , “For most people, a double chin is undesirable,” Dr. Goldman said, “but ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Award-winning medical group Allied ... as new board chair for Orange County health care system CalOptima Friday. CalOptima ... soon-to-be former chair Mark Refowitz’s term, which runs through June 30 of this ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... , ... With less than 10,000 dermatologists in the United States and more ... while the desire to conquer breakouts and eliminate skincare stress is widespread. Curology ... today released its inaugural survey on the State of Acne in America. , ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... The Executives, ... to raise money to for the Toys for Tots Literacy Campaign at their Semi-Annual ... in excess of $70 billion, the U.S. ranks at number 14 internationally in literacy. ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... which will be offered by the American Association of Integrative Medicine and available ... for healthcare providers at the AutismOne 2017 Conference in Colorado Springs. , Ed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017  Market leading ... announced a partnership with premium news content provider ... companies to extract key insights from Dow Jones ... technology. The Linguamatics I2E platform is ... global pharmaceutical companies. The Linguamatics-Dow Jones partnership helps ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS), today ... Christopher Gabrieli , partner emeritus ... of the board of Akcea Therapeutics. ... Sandford D. Smith , founder and ... are excited to announce this expansion to our board and ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 28, 2017 RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: ... that address significant unmet medical needs, today announced ... Japan Patent Office (JPO) for the composition of ... (CTGF) for the treatment or prevention of fibrotic ... and proliferative retinopathy (Japanese Patent #: 6060071).  This ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: