Matrilineal descent in cross-cultural perspective

Matrilineal Kinship University of California Press Berkeley Published In Pages: 655-727
By Aberle, David F.


"[There is] a highly significant association between lateral succession to the headman's position and matriliny, and lineal succession and patriliny" (707)


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Chi squareSupportedp<.005UNKNOWNOne-tailed


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Rules Of DescentAssociationRule Of Descent
Succession To HeadmanAssociationCommunity Heads

Related Hypotheses

Main AuthorHypothesis
Goody, JackThe proportion of uterine systems of inheritance (matrilineal) is greater in Africa than in Eurasia or other continents. But agnatic (patrilineal) inheritance is predominant worldwide (630)
Goody, Jack"Both within and between continental areas uterine succession has a greater tendency to be lateral (i.e. for the office to go first to a brother) rather than vertical (for the office to go first to a sister's son)" (630)
Gouldner, Alvin W.Findings: Factor L, "Lineality", is bipolar. Traits which load heavily and positively (oblimax rotation) are: patripotestal family authority, patrilineal inheritance, patrilineal descent, patrilineal succession, and subjection of women. Negative loadings are for matrilineal inheritance and descent (21)
Goody, Jack". . . descent groups of the matrilineal kind are significantly less likely to be found in the Eurasian continent. Matrilineal descent groups . . . are found more frequently in Africa than in Eurasia" (636)
Goody, Jack"Both for real property and movable property there is a very significant association of patrilineal systems with vertical transmission and matrilineal ones with lateral transmission" (634)