Re: Bastards--long

Bryant (
5 Sep 1996 11:23:40 -0600

In article <>, Lars Eighner <> wrote:
>>>Wrong question.
>>>The question is: what accounts for the absence of female-female
>>>marriage in cultures where it is absent?

[Bryant responded thusly:]
>>Forgive me, but how is that any different than the question I posed above?

>It is as if someone who comes from a culture in which
>bathing in the river on Tuesdays is tabu. He visits
>the Foobars and discovers that the Foobars bathe on
>[snip for brevity]

I suggested that we try to identify ecological parameters which correlate
significantly with female/female marriage. If you insist, we can ask the
exact same question by asking which parameters correlate negatively with
cultures in which female/female marriage is unheard of.

Your example was flawed, by the way. Female/female marriage is clearly
a very rare cultural tradition (far fewer cultures practice it than do
not, as my visit to HRAF last night convinced me of). Therefore, it
seems that studying why this untypical form of marriage emerged is a
worthy goal, unburdened by the sexist and/or ethnocentric implications
you seem to read into it.

>>>This is what I mean by pointing out the bias inherent in your
>>>questions. Apparently your culture is the norm and it is
>>>up to those that differ to explain themselves.

This is very silly.

Identifying unusual cultural practices is an objective affair. Sit down
in front of the cross-cultural index and count.

>=Lars Eighner=