Why There Are So Few Women Warriors
7. Interaction of Biology and Culture Page 9


Title/Summary page

1. Introduction Page 1

2. Cross-Cultural Methodology
Page 2

3. Societies with Women Warriors
Page 3

4. The Exclusion of Women from War
Page 4

5.Type of Warfare Determines Marital Residency
Pages 5-6

6. The Prehistory of Warfare
Pages 7-8

7. Interaction of Biology and Culture
Page 9

8. Conclusion
Page 10

Tables
Pages 11-12-13-14-15-16

Footnote and References
Page 17

Copyright Agreement
Page 18


There is an interaction of biological and cultural factors determining the tendency for men to specialize as hunters and warriors. It is suggested that the biological demands upon the human mother during pregnancy and nurturance of the young preclude her active role in hunting and war. At this level, there is no reason to question the importance of biological factors. Notice that there is no reason to suggest that it is the superior strength or speed of men that is critical in their predominance as hunters and warriors, unlike the suggestion of some cultural anthropologists (Divale and Harris, 1976 Harris, 1977). If anything, the differences in strength and speed between human males and females is less than in other great apes such as the chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan, and even such differences as do exist are made less important by the invention and use of weapons which extend a man's (and woman's!) speed and strength. As for the existence of a special instinct for war in humans, the present analysis only claims that there is no reason to postulate a male-female difference in such an instinct to account for sex role differences in warfare. To show that there is no such instinct for war in humans, it is necessary to show (Adams, n.d.) that the various motivational systems of social behavior that are activated during the various stages in the social act of war are neither peculiar to, nor necessary for the carrying out of war .

previous page
home page
next page