An explanation for primitive warfare: population control and the significance of primitive sex ratios

San Diego State University Published In Pages: 173-192
By Divale, William T.


Divale seeks to explain the purpose of warfare that is characteristic of primitive societies by presenting the theory that such warfare is a population-control mechanism. Divale theorizes that among primitive societies, warfare exists in a "syndrome" that also involves female infanticide, blood-revenge, polygyny, and marriage alliances. Together, these features serve to control population growth, and are a necessary aspect of simple societies.


Although one hypothesis is clearly examined using statistical tests, it is important to note that the majority of the support for Divale's theory comes from case analysis and frequency statistics.


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Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:emily.pitek