Re: Bastards--long

Bryant (
5 Sep 1996 21:55:07 -0600

In article <>, Lars Eighner <> wrote:

[Insults, confused ramblings, etc., snipped for brevity, leaving only:]

>The best correlates of female-female marriage are the quality of
>the fieldwork and the (eventual) candor of the investigators.
>The record wasn't created in a vacuum, and you cannot ascertain
>that by counting entries in an index.

I am always cautious about interpretting earlier accounts, such as
missionary's assertions and confabulations. But I trust
modern ethnographers to mention such things as the fact that women are
marrying women. Are you suggesting that I shouldn't?

Now, before somebody objects: I'm fully aware of just how biased many of
papa Franz's students were, and am familiar with the recent debunking of
Mead's work in particular. But since the biases of these ethnographers
were directed at emphasizing that which westerners would find "odd," I
don't think they would overlook homosexual marriage!

>However, now that you have revealed you method in doing
>cross-cultural surveys we are all in a much better position
>to properly evaluate your findings.

Do keep in mind that I used a cross-cultural sample only to try and find the
"many cultures" you mentioned, in which women marry women.

>>Identifying unusual cultural practices is an objective affair. Sit down
>>in front of the cross-cultural index and count.
>So it might be if the record were in better shape. For this
>particular subject, the record is extensively and systematically
>distorted. That is not a guess or a shot in the dark. There are
>enough admissions of suppression which are on the record to establish
>that it was systematic.
>Try pulling the 838 on Fang or Azande or Hottenttot (FX13), you'll
>see what I mean. Count the number of denials, distortions,
>and (eventually admitted) suppressions. The principal correlate
>is the candor of the investigator. That's on the record.

Very, very cool! I will do just that. This seems to me to be
an important and relevant issue. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
And thanks for the reference!

>=Lars Eighner=4103 Ave D (512)459-6693==_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/