There is No Instinct for War
V. Warfare and Marriage Page 6

Title Page

I. Introduction
Page 1

II. Motivational Systems
Page 2

III. An Example of Warfare
Pages 3 - 4

IV. History of Warfare
Pages 5

V. Warfare and Marriage
Page 6

VI. Conclusion
Page 7

Page 8

The relationship between type of warfare and type of marriage residency system can show why it is men and not women that have come to be warriors. From this it is possible to refute the claims by some authors that this sex difference reflects some difference in instincts between men and women. Women are quite capable of fighting in wars, and they have sufficient strength to run, to use spears, and to use bows and arrows, and they are certainly capable of all of the various motivations and emotions. They are usually absent from war, however, because they have been actively excluded by men. Men have maintained a monopoly on war and the use of the weapons of war. This has occurred because their wives often came from the families of the enemy. Under this circumstance, the wife would have divided loyalties and could not be trusted during warfare. Whose side would they take, their husband's side or the side of their fathers and brothers?

Cross-cultural data indicate that the problem of the wife's divided loyalty during warfare has been especially common in just those cultures in which warfare developed in early human prehistory. These are stateless cultures of hunter-gatherers that practice internal warfare (i.e., warfare directed against neighboring groups with the same language and culture). The problem of the wife's loyalty has arisen because these cultures have marriage residency systems of patrilocal exogamy. This means that the bride comes from a different community (exogamy) and goes to live with the family of the husband (patrilocality). Patrilocal exogamy is the most common marriage residency pattern in all cultures with internal warfare (Ember and Ember, 1971; Adams, 1983); It is especially common in stateless hunter-gatherer cultures with internal warfare. In the survey of hunter-gatherers by Ember (1978), 15 of the 21 cultures with internal warfare had marriage residency systems that were patrilocal with at least some exogamy.

The reason why cultures with internal warfare have adopted patrilocal rules for marriage residency has been suggested by Ember and Ember (1971). They suggest that patrilocality ensures men that their sons who have been trained as warriors will continue to live with them and fight alongside them and their brothers. The contradiction between patrilocal exogamy and the loyalty of women during warfare has been solved by the exclusion of women from war. The exclusion is complete. Not only are women not allowed to fight, but they are not allowed to attend the war planning meetings. They are not allowed to own, make, or even touch the weapons of war, and since these weapons are used in hunting, they are not allowed to hunt with them as well. They are not even allowed to sleep with their husbands during war. In one New Guinea culture, the fingers used to pull a bow string are cut off from the hands of little girls, which ensures that they will never become warriors (Heider, 1970).

I have made a test of this theory (Adams, 1983). The theory predicts that in cultures in which there is no possibility of disloyalty by wives there should be some cases of women warriors. I found that in a sample of 34 stateless cultures without any exogamy and with only external warfare (i.e., warfare only against distant cultures with which there is no inter- marriage), there are reports of women warriors in 9 of them. These are the cultures in which there is no problem of the wife's loyalty, since war is never carried out against her relatives. By contrast, in a sample of 32 cultures with patrilocal exogamy and internal warfare, where disloyalty is a potential problem, there have never been any reports of women warriors. This test supports the theory. In other words, women are quite capable of fighting as warriors when there is no question of their loyalty. The fact that there are so few women warriors arises from the frequent occurrence of the contra- diction between patrilocal exogamy and internal warfare. It arises because men have actively monopolized warfare in these cultures and have excluded women from taking part in war.

(End of chapter)

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