Human marriage systems and sexual dimorphism in stature

American journal of physical anthropology Vol/Iss. 89(4) Wiley Subscription Services Inc. Published In Pages: 467-475
By Gaulin, Steven JC, Boster, James S.


Societies with EIM or Ecologically Imposed Monogamy (monogamy combined with egalitarian resource structure) will have lower sexual stature dimorphism than those practicing polygyny or Socially-Imposed Monogamy (SIM, monogamy in highly stratified societies). (471)


EIM had significantly lower dimorphism than SIM or polygny, but the result is unstable and depends on inclusion of cases with insufficient data. However, a significant interaction effect was discovered post-hoc between marriage system and sexual stature dimorphism by stratification; that is, among nonstratified societies, polygyny and dimorphism are positively associated, whereas among stratified societies, monogamy is more associated with dimorphism than is polygyny (p = 0.002).


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
2-way ANOVAPartially supportedp < 0.05UNKNOWNUNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Mode Of MarriageIndependentMode Of Marriage
Social StratificationIndependentClasses
Sexual Stature DimorphismDependentAnthropometry