10 March 2011

Traditional Family Not So Traditional

What did the family look like in the hunter-gatherer days that account for 95% of human history?

Suffice it to say that it wouldn't be a good fit to many urban zoning codes that insist upon single family dwellings.

Because humans lived as foragers for 95% of our species’ history, we analyzed co-residence patterns among 32 present-day foraging societies (total n = 5067 individuals, mean experienced band size = 28.2 adults). We found that hunter-gatherers display a unique social structure where (i) either sex may disperse or remain in their natal group, (ii) adult brothers and sisters often co-reside, and (iii) most individuals in residential groups are genetically unrelated. These patterns produce large interaction networks of unrelated adults and suggest that inclusive fitness cannot explain extensive cooperation in hunter-gatherer bands.

1 comment:

Michael Malak said...

Except for your (iii), my quick retort would be, "of course the nuclear family is not traditional."