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Sex inequality driven by dispersal

Chen, Yuan; Ge, Erhao; Zhou, Liqiong; Du, Juan; Mace, Ruth; (2022) Sex inequality driven by dispersal. Current Biology 10.1016/j.cub.2022.12.027. (In press). Green open access

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Inequality between the sexes is pervasive both outside and inside the home. One contributing factor could be the dispersal of one sex at marriage that sets up sex-specific differences in relatedness to the group. Here we exploit the ecological diversity and different social structures found in southwest China to investigate the role of sex-biased dispersal on inequality in the sexual division of labor. We use a wearable fitness tracker and validated readings by confirming that participants' daily "steps" were positively correlated with time spent in high-energy activities, such as agriculture and animal husbandry work, and negatively correlated with low-energy activities, such as leisure and relaxation. We applied multilevel comparative approaches to examine the relative workload pattern between the sexes under different dispersal states. Our results reveal two characteristics that lead to an unfavorable division of workload: being female and dispersing at marriage. This is consistent with the hypothesis that males have increased bargaining power when remaining in their natal home, leading to inequality in workload.

Type: Article
Title: Sex inequality driven by dispersal
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.12.027
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.12.027
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: accelerometer, labor division, postmarital residence, sex inequality, workload
UCL classification: UCL
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/10163302
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