Re: China, the Free-Market & Freedom?

Damien Broderick (
Sat, 24 Jan 1998 11:14:08 +0000

At 06:00 PM 1/23/98 +0100, Anders wrote:

>> larger percentage of the population being born as males. Sociologists have
>> commented in the past on the relative levels of agression of societies with
>> balanced versus imbalanced populations of genders.
>What sociologists and what societies? As far as I know, there have not
>been that many societies with imbalanced populations of genders

One group that might be worth looking at was the Fore in New Guinea, whose
females died in devastating numbers due to kuru (contracted from mortuary
cannabilism, mostly practised only by females). I think this practice was
abandoned within a couple of generations of its fairly recent adoption
after the arrival of Australian law and intervention, and before the link
with kuru as a slow virus or prion was uncovered. Oddly, the many diverse
cultures in New Guinea were notably ferocious and warlike even in
conditions of gender parity. I get the impression that the deaths of Fore
wives, mothers and daughters was altogether demoralising to the men, rather
than cause for maddened war and wife-taking. In part, perhaps, this is
because the deaths were attributed to `sorcery' by other members of the
Fore. And of course this horrible episode isn't much like growing up in a
society where boys have *always* majorly outnumbered girls.

Damien Broderick