Female Exogamy & Patrilocal Marriage

Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD
8 min readDec 5, 2022

Companion piece to Christ Wave Feminism

“The available molecular genetic evidence suggests that our ancestors likely practiced female exogamy (Seielstad et al., 1998).

When girls reached puberty, they left their natal groups to marry into neighboring groups to avoid inbreeding, while boys stayed in their natal groups their entire lives. So all men in a hunter–gatherer band were genetically related whereas women were not (Geary et al., 2003).”

Christianity Outlawed Polygyny… the Church ushered in egalitarian changes to property rights & inheritance laws… the Church ended arranged marriages by the mid-12th century in NW Europe.

A result, “over time,

the Church became the largest landowner in Europe, holding one-third to 50% of the land in various European countries,

including England, France, & what we now know as Germany” (Hudson et al., 2020).

Daughters & Dispossession

Mulier Est Finis Familiae

“A woman is the beginning and end of the family” — said the sexist Roman law. Daughters (and women in general) were not permitted to own property. A son was needed to inherit both the estate and the name of his father. One of the greatest, though unsung, films of Natalie Portman’s career — The Other Boleyn Girl — illustrates the importance that old world humans placed on having a son.

The devaluation of daughters in patrilineal societies is associated with laws/ practices/ traditions that prohibited women from carrying on the family name or having any legal claim to inheritance. Thus, daughters were controlled until their father gave away the bride (because property) at medieval sexist weddings.

The marriage of daughters was basically a disinheritance in the ancient world. Enshrining paternal inheritance has led to ancillary customs in the modern era, such as:
- female infanticide
- families investing less in their daughters’ health than their sons’
- sex selective abortions

The devaluation of daughters was likely concurrent with the establishment of marriage & reproduction outside the family as societal norms (prevent inbreeding). Males within a family line were expected to stay together to secure the resources of the fraternal line. As such, when daughters married they moved away from their birth family as they were forced to live in the dwelling of their husband.

Given this sexist reality, why wasn’t Feminism Wave 1 in like 34000 BC?

Because when women were forced to move away with their husbands they were unable to form solidarity and/or maintain a resistance with their female kin networks women’s inability. The logistical consequence of this ancient sexist system was that male groups were easier to form than female groups.

Daughters in these ancient sexist societies couldn’t hope to own property, would receive food last (devalued relative to male sibling(s)), couldn’t even leave the house without asking a male kin for permission, and were considered resource burdens based on the sexist logic that a daughter’s real family would be her future husband’s family… at the age of like 12. #smh Families with both sons & daughters wouldn’t even always recognize their daughter in the family tree.

Taken together, laws prohibiting women from claiming inheritance, carrying on property, carrying the family name, etc, and the desire among male kin groups to have all men in the family stay together to maximize their strength against predators & occasional invading groups, meant that daughters were invested in less than sons.

This eventually led to male biased sex ratios
→ which led to a generation of men who couldn’t marry because of all the women who weren’t born
→ which led to an increase in sex trafficking & other crimes
(for comparison, see research on the increase in crime in China)
→ which led to more authoritarianism & despotism to police male aggression.

In short, the patriarchal sexist norms of many human societies have been the primary contributor to the issues of many human societies. Given that males have held the levers of power in many such societies, men have failed to realize that they created the problems they were trying to solve.

Zegarac et al., 2021

Female exogamy has recently been demonstrated for other regions of similar chronology in Southern Germany and Switzerland (Mittnik et al., 2019; Sjögren et al., 2020; Knipper et al., 2017; Furtwängler et al., 2020) and apparently also played a role in more recent periods, such as the Early Middle Ages (Veeramah et al., 2018).

Karl-Goran Sjogren et al., 2020

While likely monogamous, they practiced exogamy, as six out of eight non-locals are women. This provides evidence for the society being patrilocal, perhaps as a way of protecting property among the male line, while in-marriage from many different places secured social and political networks and prevented inbreeding. Consequently, women marrying into patrilocal communities were forced to adopt their husband’s language. Such a situation could well resemble third-millennium BC Europe.

Hunting & Gathering

“The genus Homo appeared on earth approximately two million years ago, and until approximately 10,000 years ago all humans lived as hunters and gatherers (Lee & DeVore, 1968). Approximately 10,000 years ago, human societies started making the transition from a hunting and gathering mode of subsistence to a mode of subsistence based on agriculture and animal husbandry (Price, 2000).”

Older age of marriage means higher literacy rates (males have to try harder than in arranged marriages; women have more time to hone their skills prior to marriage; women have fewer kids when they get married later, which means more time), which Foreman-Peck & Zhou (2018) identity as a key ingredient of the Industrial Revolution.

Foreman‐Peck, J., & Zhou, P. (2018). Late marriage as a contributor to the industrial revolution in England. The Economic History Review, 71(4), 1073–1099.

“Men rated blond hair as most sexually attractive and women rated both blond and brown hair equally as attractive as red hair” (Janif et al., 2015).

Cross culturally, women tend to have a lighter skin tone than men (Anita Sitek et al., 2018; Banerjee, 1984; Firooz et al., 2012; Jablonski & Chaplin, 2000; Kalla & Tiwari, 1970; Kalla, 1973; Madrigal & Kelly, 2007; van den Berghe & Frost, 1986; Viren Swami et al., 2008).

Interracial Mate Preferences

“…those with stable ethnic dating preferences (preferring to consistently date either a same-ethnicity or a different-ethnicity partner throughout high school) maintained these preferences over time” (Chan & Kiang, 2021, p. 76).

Sidenotes — Reprised

— Among men in prisons, 9.3% were sexual minorities
— Among women in prison, 42.1% were sexual minorities (Ilan H. Meyer et al., 2017)

Socioemotional Health

A key a sex difference in support networks is that women are more likely than men to have someone available to talk to when they are distressed.

Patriarchal Male Socialization empathizes independence & invulnerability discourages men to ask for help when they need it. As a result they’re unlikely to have developed/nurtured these components of their social networks in the first place.

Another result of these patriarchal messages is that men are less likely than women to:

- believe in the value of preventive health care
- have a regular physician
- to perform self-exams
- to be concerned about eating healthy
- Women visit the doctor more often
- Women are more likely to search for health info online

Among participants dating interracially,

those raised in the United States were disproportionately more likely to date interracially than those raised outside the United States, χ2 (1, N = 298) = 15.84, p < .001.

The same was true for those raised in multiple countries, despite having more diverse social circles than those who were raised primarily in one country outside the US. This suggests there may be a difference between having diverse experiences (living in multiple countries) and being exposed to interracial couples.

The latter may be more influential in someone’s propensity to date interracially themselves.


First born girls are especially likely to have more practice with interpersonal interactions than first born boys given that first born boys are more likely to be the only child.

Sidenotes — General

China — Tian & Cramon-Taubadel, 2020

Resource allocation within a family is affected by the number of children it has. The educational attainment of those born after the OCP was significantly higher than earlier cohorts (Li et al., 2008; Liao, 2013), and only children in China earn higher incomes than children who have siblings (Wang et al., 2017).

The OCP has made China the country with by far the largest number of one-child families in the world (Min et al., 2017a). The total fertility rate in China declined sharply from more than 5 births per woman in early 1970s to 1.5–1.6 in recent years, which is well below the replacement rate (Wang et al., 2017).

[US research found] a negative association between family size and educational and labor market outcomes (Datar, 2017).

Siblings & BMI — Datar, 2017

“The protective effect of siblings on BMI and obesity is in contrast to the adverse effect of siblings that has been previously documented for educational and labor market outcomes in the U.S. and other developed countries. While having more siblings appears to be worse for educational and labor market outcomes, it appears to be protective for BMI and obesity in childhood.

A number of societal and economic changes occurred contemporaneously with increases in childhood obesity. For example, decline in food prices, changes in the built environment, and increases in mothers’ labor force participation have all been suggested as contributors to the epidemic (Anderson and Butcher, 2006). Around this same time period, another significant change occurred in American households. Among households with own children, there was a substantial decline in the average number of children per family — from 2.44 in 1965 to 1.86 in 2008 (Census Bureau, 2013).”

Michael M. Kasumovic et al., 2021

“Performance in a university course can affect how an individual perceives their own self-worth (Crocker et al., 2003); especially since grades are an objective marker of performance & placement within a hierarchy.

Anthropological work with hunter-gatherer societies shows that men improve fitness through direct competition, whereas women increase fitness through indirect competition (Benenson, 2013; McAndrew, 2014).


Men are more distressed by reproductive-infidelity than infidelity with another woman (Wiederman & LaMar, 1998; Hughes et al., 2004; Confer & Cloud, 2011).

Many polygynous societies allow same-sex attractions among women because it reduces the attention/effort men have to devote to preventing reproductive infidelity among one of their wives (Apostolou et al., 2017; Zeitzen, 2008; Satoshi Kanazawa, 2017).

Straight men have more positive attitudes about their girlfriend’s same-sex attractions than straight women have about their boyfriend’s same-sex attractions (Apolstolou et al., 2018).

“Here is a very early Selig film discovered and restored by USC archivist Dino Everett, and properly identified by University of Chicago scholar Allyson Field. The performers are Saint Suttle and Gertie Brown.”

“There’s a performance there because they’re dancing with one another, but their kissing has an unmistakable sense of naturalness, pleasure and amusement as well,” Allyson Nadia Field, a professor of cinema and media studies at the University of Chicago who helped identify the film, said in a university press release.

“It is really striking to me, as a historian who works on race and cinema, to think that this kind of artifact could have existed in 1898.”




Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.