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Mixed MessagesCultural and Genetic Inheritance in the Constitution of Human Society$
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Robert A. Paul

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226240725

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226241050.001.0001

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Society beyond the Genetic Program

Society beyond the Genetic Program

(p.116) Five Society beyond the Genetic Program
Mixed Messages

Robert A. Paul

University of Chicago Press

The chapter begins by placing human social organization in the context of other social animals, including canids and higher primates. Only humans manage the integration of social groupings based on genetic kinship with those encompassing a wider group of non-related individuals. Attention is focused on hamadryas baboons, who have evolved a social system having features in common with the elementary human social pattern, involving continuous male-female bonds beyond brief sexual encounters and non-interference by males with established male-female pair bonds. Humans achieve the same thing by cultural rather than evolved genetic means, that is, marriage regulations. Marriage is examined as a solution to the problem posed by the competition among males for mating opportunities. The Hill Pandaram of South India are presented as an illustrative case of Dravidian kinship reckoning and how it regulates sexual reproduction.

Keywords:   primate social organization, canid social organization, Hamadryas baboons, marriage regulations, Dravidian kinship, Hill Pandaram

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