Wednesday, March 08, 2006

ORIGINS OF patriarchy VI

PART SIX, continued from the previous posts

A word on DeMeo’s data: DeMeo ranked over 1,200 world cultures on 63 variables. He used the Human Relations Area Files, the queen of professional anthropological data. Some of his variables included:

O display of affection (hi or lo)
O attention to needs (hi or lo)
O pain infliction (hi or lo)
O sex anxiety
O class stratification
O warfare prevalence
O narcissism index
O bellicosity
O severe male initiations
O slavery
O killing, torture, mutilation of enemy emphasized
O high-god present; etc.

DeMeo found that the data clumped together into patterns. For example, a lack of affection and a lack of attention to needs tended to clump together with high sex anxiety, lotsa class stratification, severe male intiations, and so forth. And high affection clumped together with high attention to needs, low sex anxiety, low class stratification, etc. He called these two patterns “patrist” and “matrist.” AND, he found the patrist cultures generally in Saharasia, the matrist cultures outside it.

“To present this data for our perusal took over 400 pages, in a large-scale format, of scores of maps, charts, diagrams, figures, tables, drawings, photographs, footnotes and appendices as well as ample data-driven text.

“The majority of DeMeo's data are sterling. For example, working with class-A anthropological data (from the Human Relations Area Files, etc.) and meshing those with class-A geological data (from the Budyko-Lettau Dryness Ratio), DeMeo shows that

"(1) around 4000 BCE a broad ribbon of land across Africa, the Middle East and Asia began dying;
(2) People living in this land became the most patriarchal on the planet; and,
(3) the further one wanders from this ribbon of land, the less patriarchal people are.

"DeMeo calls this land 'Saharasia.' It's an area that covers hundreds of thousands of square miles on our planet." MORE >>>
From the Review "Save the World; Read This Book"


Paxton said...

Just to make sure I didn't miss something: you say DeMeo ranks cultures on 1200 variables to see if they are matrist or patrist. I don't remember seeing (in your story at least) any mention of DeMeo actually analyzing whether his patrist societies are male-dominated and male-god worshipping.


is DeMeo making unsound leaps by declaring cultures patrist without checking their religion?

or are you missing some important notes in your story?

or are my reading comprehension skills lacking? (I think it is this third one but I read through again and couldn't find anything)

Athana said...

Paxton, DeMeo ranks 1,200 cultures on 63 variables. One of these 63 variables is the presence of a "high god who is active and supportive of human morality."

On page 166 of his book, DeMeo shows a world map from G. Murdock's Ethnographic Atlas. The map shows where high gods are found -- almost entirely in Saharasia.

DeMeo goes on to note that, before 4000 BC, the people in Saharasia worshipped female deity (along with everyone else in the world). Later, however, "when patrism begins to develop across Saharasia, there do appear ... domineering 'Mother Goddesses,' who are scarcely different from their later male counterparts. As patrism increases in power and strength, the Goddesses are either married off to more powerful male gods, they become exceedingly fierce themselves, or they completely disappear from history, leaving behind only the newer male gods, who fiercely dominated the social landscape." (DeMeo, Saharasia, p. 167)

Morgaine said...

Athana, you are on FIRE with these posts! Well done, Sister.

Paxton, perhaps you should consider READING DeMeo's book. It's quite large, and she can't print every little detail.

He didn't start out looking for matrist and patrist cultures to my knowledge - that is simply the way he found them. It's the way it was and the way it is.

Morgaine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Athana said...

Thanks, Morgaine. It's true: DeMeo's book is almost a foot tall and has over 400 pages. I gave only a taste of what's in it.

And you're right: DeMeo didn't start out looking for matrist and patrist cultures. It took him ten years to put the data for 1,200 world cultures, at 63 variables each, on world maps, and then integrate the anthropological stuff with the geographic stuff. It was in that process that he began to see the matrist/patrist patterns emerging.