Complexity and possession: Gender and social structure in the variability of shamanic traits

Behavioral and Brain Sciences Vol/Iss. 41 Cambridge University Press Published In Pages: e91
By Wood, Conner P., Stockly, Kate J.


Complex, hierarchical societies are correlated with the presence of female-dominated possession trance.


Female-dominated possession correlates with: Larger societal population (r=.383, n=35, p=.023); More layers of institutional hierarchy within stateless societies (r=.366; n=34, p=.033); Belief in moral high gods (r=.284, n=102, p=.004); Relative economic deprivation (r = .343, n = 34, p = .047); Low frequency of premarital sex (r = .411, n = 35, p = .014); Overall social status of those who enter possession trances (r = –.365, n = 105, p < .001)


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Pearson product-moment correlationSupportedUNKNOWNUNKNOWNUNKNOWN