Sex, Coalitions, and Politics in Preindustrial Societies
Broadly defined, political activity normally involves some form of coalition, usually centering upon resource acquisition, and is not restricted to humans. Male and female mammals appear to have evolved to seek and use resources differently--males to get mates (mating effort) and females to raise healthy, successful offspring (parental effort). Because the return curves for these two types of effort differ in shape, several predictions follow about sex differences in political activity. These predictions are tested using the 93 odd-numbered societies of the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample. Results offer insights into current patterns of male and female political activity in Western societies.