The Origins and Maintenance of Female Genital Modification across Africa

Human Nature Vol/Iss. 27(2) Springer US Published In Pages: 173-200
By Ross, Cody T., Strimling, Pontus, Ericksen, Karen Paige, Lindenfors, Patrik, Mulder, Monique Borgerhoff


The researchers develop and compare two evolutionary models to evaluate the association between social stratification and female genital modification(FGMo) in a cross-cultural African sample, theorizing that social hierarchy creates competition for high-value males in which FGMo acts as a costly demonstration of paternity certainty. Although the null model outperforms the stratification model when applied to empirical data, an association between FGMo and stratification is found in the expected direction. The authors suggest that while stratification may be an important factor in the de novo origins of FGMo, spread and persistence of the practice subsequently become more heavily dependent on other selective forces.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
OtherResearcher's own
Ethnographic Atlas (EA)Other researcher'sEricksen (1989)

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