Sex, coalitions, and politics in preindustrial societies

Politics and the Life Sciences Vol/Iss. 11 Published In Pages: 63-80
By Low, Bobbi S.


This article investigates possible correlates of women’s overt political power in a cross-cultural sample. Rule of descent—specifically, matrilineal or double descent— is the only factor the author found to be associated with women’s overt political power. Several other factors, including sex ratio, subsistence type, contribution to subsistence, and political system, are not associated. The author also includes a discussion of political activity among chimpanzees, as well as a brief ethnographic summary of several societies in which women have political power.

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:Kate Cummings Amelia Piazza