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Parental investment in Tibetan populations does not reflect stated cultural norms

Du, J; Mace, R; Barrett, L; (2017) Parental investment in Tibetan populations does not reflect stated cultural norms. Behavioral Ecology , Article arx134. 10.1093/beheco/arx134. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper, we examined both stated norms of sex preference and actual sex-biases in parental investment in a Tibetan pastoralist society. We collected detailed demographic data on infant mortality, infant feeding, the length of interbirth intervals, and a decision when giving gifts, to examine sex-biased parental investment. Our results indicate a mismatch between self-reported son preference and measures of actual parental investment that favor daughters. We interpret this female-biased parental investment as a possible response to daughters generating more economic resources. However, the stated sex preferences of both sexes reflect cultural norms that appear to have remained unchanged over a long period, which may reflect the importance of male roles in the past. Our behavioral measures of parental investment are those most likely to be in the control of women (such as breastfeeding and interbirth interval), so this mismatch between stated and actual investment may be especially true of women.

Type: Article
Title: Parental investment in Tibetan populations does not reflect stated cultural norms
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arx134
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arx134
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. The official journal of the ISBE International Society for Behavioral Ecology Behavioral Ecology This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: Inheritance system, mismatch, pastoralist, sex-preference, social norms.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10038475
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