Matrilineal descent in cross-cultural perspective

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


"Both matrilineal and patrilineal systems tend to cluster at the 'minimal state' level by comparison with bilateral systems, which tend to appear at the extremes of political scope" (684)


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Chi squareSupportedp<.01UNKNOWNOne-tailed


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Political IntegrationAssociationTerritorial Organization
Rules Of DescentAssociationRule Of Descent

Related Hypotheses

Main AuthorHypothesis
Aberle, David F.[Descent is related] ". . . to stratification. . . . Matrilineal systems tend to have hereditary, rather than complex stratification to a greater degree than . . . patrilineal and bilateral systems" (698)
Aberle, David F."If we compare 'dominant horticulture' with all [other subsistence types], we find that matrilineal systems tend to be found significantly more often in this category than either patrilineal or bilateral systems" (676)
Aberle, David F.". . . as [the] size of political unit increases, the percentage of dominantly horticultural matrilineal systems (ignoring extraction) remains relatively constant, at about 66 to 75 percent . . ." (691)
Aberle, David F."Matrilineal systems are relatively more frequent in the 'dominant horticulture' category than either bilateral or patrilineal systems, at high levels of stratification. They are more commonly in the 'dominant horticulture' category than patrilineal systems at low levels; there is no significant difference between matrilineal and bilateral systems at this level" (698)
Rácz, PéterBilateral or ambilineal descent systems are likely to have less complex kinship systems than patrilineal or matrilineal ones (11).