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:12/7/2016)... ... OCTOBER XX, 2016 (PRWEB) (PRWEB) December 07, 2016 , ... ... new study entitled “Canine Filamentous Dermatitis Associated with Borrelia Infection” ... The study was published in the prestigious Journal of Veterinary Science & Medical ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Facial plastic surgeon, Dr. ... season by donating a portion of proceeds to two local organizations: North Chicago Animal ... Control & Friends is a team of authorized and trained volunteers who support ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... Top 20 Marketing Campaign Winner in the Folio: Marketing Awards competition. Live From ... the year’s best in pioneering, inventive, and ultimately successful projects undertaken by the ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... BOC Business Brilliance Awards under the Best New Product Launch category. Gensuite’s entry ... through user experience. , BOC Global Events & Training Group is a professional ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... “The Road To Restoration”: an informative and ... one hour a week showing of hands. “The Road To Restoration” is the creation ... are familiar with the brass ring that you could reach out for, and grab, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7,2016  Based on its ... industry, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Nemaura Pharma ... Sullivan Award for Enabling Technology Leadership. Nemaura ... loopholes in traditional drug delivery technologies, especially ... microneedle-based drug delivery technologies, Memspatch and Micropatch ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016  Lannett Company, Inc. (NYSE: ... BMO Capital Markets 2016 Prescription for Success Healthcare Conference on December ... in New York City . In ... at the Guggenheim Securities 4 th Annual Boston Healthcare Conference ... ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... -- Radioisotopes are radioactive isotopes having an unstable balance ... nuclear research reactor or by using cyclotron. These isotopes ... gamma when changed to a stable nature. The gamma ... in medical diagnostics. In this field, the radiation is ... functioning. Radiotherapy is also used to treat some life-threatening ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: