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HOW HAVE HUMANS DEALT WITH THE MATTERS SURROUNDING REPRODUCTION AND INHERITANCE? BLOOD MAY BE THICKER THAN WATER…BUT WHOSE BLOOD IS IT? Fernando Seeks.

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Presentation on theme: "HOW HAVE HUMANS DEALT WITH THE MATTERS SURROUNDING REPRODUCTION AND INHERITANCE? BLOOD MAY BE THICKER THAN WATER…BUT WHOSE BLOOD IS IT? Fernando Seeks."— Presentation transcript:

1 HOW HAVE HUMANS DEALT WITH THE MATTERS SURROUNDING REPRODUCTION AND INHERITANCE? BLOOD MAY BE THICKER THAN WATER…BUT WHOSE BLOOD IS IT? Fernando Seeks a Wife: Sex and Blood

2 Marriage, Family and Household… Fernando has lost his wife. Two weeks ago. What does he do about it?

3 What Fernando was doing, so soon after his wifes death, was seeking out a partner who would perform the tasks that would complement his own, and thus ensure the continuity of his household. The women he approached were each in a similar structural situation: they were widows whose husbands had recently passed away. So continuity of the household is paramount and the notion of romantic love is secondary.

4 Cross cultural comparison in anthropology There is tremendous variation found around notions of kin, marriage and living arrangement. Types of Marriage (Wikipedia) Why is that? …related to where they live, how they live?

5 Cohesion is important to human social groups. Marriage practice is a way to retain social cohesion and to keep the group intact. The capacity to form tightly knit social groups can be seen as a key adaptive strategy. Highly functional foraging unit…

6 Problems with…Polygyny Polygyny has some interesting consequences for a society. Male/female ratios tend to be about 50/50 in the world when left to "natural" forces. When one man marries say 4 wives, then three men, theoretically, do without. If this is a repeated pattern in a society this tends to drive up the marriage age for men--they have to wait to get married and drives down the marriage age for women--they are married off young because they are in short supply and, thus, desirable. Society-wide over time you get a pattern of older men with multiple wives and younger men without any wives. Some men will, always do without. Powerful older men end up dominating the society and women (girls) get apportioned to them.

7 The societal problem that often results (and all societies have problems that they deal with because of their structural organization) is a large number of young men who can, potentially, cause trouble for their elders. After all, the women may find them more attractive than their elder husbands. The solution of the Masai, for example, for many years was to send the young men away to do other things; cattle raiding/warfare, for example.

8 Levirate and sororate… Typical of patriarchal societies… Ingenious means to maintain social relationships/ social structure…

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10 When Does Life Begin? A Cross-cultural Perspective on the Personhood of Fetuses and Young children …it has been difficult for participants in the debate to acknowledge the extent to which human life and personhood are culturally constructed. The social construction of personhood varies according to the environmental, cosmological, and historical circumstances of different societies. This means that people are defined by people.


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