Re: Social Problems (was Social Problems--Part A)

Glenn Morton (
Mon, 23 Feb 1998 19:31:10 -0600

At 08:02 PM 2/23/98 -0500, Charles Cairns wrote:

>My sperm count idea was offered as a modest distraction, since I doubt,
>except in the few cases observed by Glenn, that the possessive nature of
>healthy males in a healthy society would permit it. However, assuming male
>sperm counts decreased across the population to the point that only a very
>small percentage of men could reliably produce children, we might witness a
>matriarchal society with male concubines.

There is a somewhat similar case among the Andaman Islanders at least serial
polyandry. Cavalli-Sforza and Cavalli-Sforza write:

"The numbers of Andaman natives had already declined considerably, even
without the British. Today the Little Andaman Onge number no more than
ninety-eight or ninety-nine people, too few to avoid close inbreeding. The
result is that most couples have no children, or have, at most, only one or
two. They are careful to ensure the tribe's survival, so if a girl has no
children from a first marriage she is taken and married to another, and then
another if necessary." Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza and Fracesco
Cavalli-Sforza, The Great Human Diaspora (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1995), p. 21

But then this may not be too much different from modern American culture
with its high divorce rate.


Adam, Apes, and Anthropology: Finding the Soul of Fossil Man


Foundation, Fall and Flood