Allomaternal nursing in humans

Current Anthropology Vol/Iss. 55(2) University of Chicago Press Published In Pages: 200-229
By Hewlett, Barry S., Winn, Steve


"Milk kinship" will be more prevalent among stratified cultures, and allomaternal nursing is imposed on lower-class women in these cultures (8).


Milk kinship is the belief than an infant breast-fed by another women becomes part of the kin group. 11/19 (57.9%) of milk kinship cultures are stratified, but there was evidence for lower class women nursing infants from higher-status families in only 5/19 (26.3%) milk kinship cultures. Note: no formal statistical test.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Social StratificationIndependentCastes, Classes
Milk KinshipDependentArtificial Kin Relationships, Infant Feeding