Malaria Mortality Favors Patriliny

James H. Jones, Stanford University

In this study we analyze how demographic forces might constrain social organization by examining the impact of infectious disease mortality on human stocks. Infectious diseases have been a major source of mortality and an important selective force throughout human history. We test the hypothesis that high mortality in the characteristic age-sex pattern of countries where malaria is endemic favors patrilineal social organization. We use demographic microsimulation (the SOCSIM platform) calibrated with a variety of data sources including the INDEPTH African model. Preliminary results show that, as a result of higher mortality for males in pre-reproductive age, the average relatedness through patrilineal kin is higher than through matrilineal kin, thus favoring social organization based on patrilineal descent.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 49: Evolutionary Approaches to Demography