Inherited wealth leads to sibling rivalry

Jan 25, 2011
Inherited wealth leads to sibling rivalry
Children from the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. Image by Dr Mhairi Gibson

(PhysOrg.com) -- Sibling rivalry is driven by the transfer of wealth between generations, according to new research by anthropologists at the University of Bristol and Addis Ababa University.

To test the theory that the intergenerational transfer of wealth plays a pivotal role in the of human sibling relationships, Dr. Mhairi Gibson and Dr. Eshetu Gurmu studied the Arsi Oromo agro-pastoralist society in present-day Ethiopia, where recent changes in land tenure policy have altered the nature of transfers of resources from parents to .

They found that the extent to which adult siblings competed or co-operated with each other in marriage and reproduction was strongly influenced by the presence or absence of heritable wealth.

In where land was inherited, having a greater number of elder brothers reduced a man’s agricultural productivity, opportunities and reproductive success (surviving offspring), as resources diminished and competition increased with each additional male sibling.

Conversely, where land was not inherited but distributed equally by the government, older siblings did not have a competitive effect and in some instances could be beneficial.  Older sisters’ bridewealth (payment made by a groom or his kin to the kin of the bride) was used to obtain higher status marriages for younger brothers, and in doing so, offset most of the competitive effects of older brothers.

Dr. Gibson said: “Since the end of government land redistribution programs in the early 1990s, the Arsi Oromo have experienced greater competition between brothers for high quality land and mates.  Despite current government legislation to encourage the equal division of heritable resources among children, Arsi Oromo parents have adopted a pattern of wealth inheritance which favours elder sons, who obtain better quality land and higher bridewealth payments.

“This may also be having an effect on family sizes: among the Arsi Oromo, contraceptive use has increased from less than one per cent to over 19 per cent between 1999 and 2009. Among the first to adopt the use of modern contraception are those farmers who have inherited the smallest parcels of land.”

These findings contribute to growing evidence that competition for heritable resources, such as land, cattle and titles, represents an important determinant of the nature of sibling relationships, and also parental reproductive decision-making.  Recent changes in wealth transfers which have driven sibling competition may be contributing to an increased desire for smaller family sizes.

Explore further: Personalized advertising attracts more attention, makes the contents of ads easier to remember

More information: Land inheritance establishes sibling competition for marriage and reproduction in rural Ethiopia’ by Mhairi A. Gibson and Eshetu Gurmu in PNAS .

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geokstr
1.3 / 5 (13) Jan 25, 2011
...where land was not inherited but distributed equally by the government...

Well, there it is at last, St Karl of Marx proved correct, beyond a shadow of a doubt by an "objective" "unbiased" "non-political" "scientist". The debate is now over, and consensus of all sentient beings has been achieved. Time to take everything away that any person deemed rich (i.e., over $12 net worth) has when they die, so that their siblings won't get in a snit.

I'd just hate to see Malia and Sasha tearing each others' hair out over the estimated inevitable 7 billion dollars that a career in community organizing can lead to.

Yes, competition, like capitalist-roaderism, is inherently eevvviilll and must be abolished, along with other antiquated concepts, like free speech, dissent against the ruling classes, and private property (oops, almost forgot the most evil one, gun rights.) All hail the Collective.

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
JRDarby
4 / 5 (8) Jan 25, 2011
... what the fuck are you talking about? The article stated that competition and sibling rivalry INCREASED after government distribution was abolished and that this resulted in inequality favoring the oldest sibling. What does anything you said have to do with anything the article said? Stop using a physics forum to push your beliefs.
geokstr
1.3 / 5 (13) Jan 25, 2011
.. what the fuck are you talking about?

Yes, satire and sarcasm are beyond the scope of leftists, particularly when aimed at them. I agree that this article said "competition = bad, government redistribution of everybody else's wealth = good", a concept I profoundly disagree with. Evidently you feel differently.
...a physics forum

This may have been a "physics forum" at one time, but it certainly isn't anymore. Like a lot of popsci sites, it's been taken over and inhabited by assorted leftists, environuts and AGW apocalyptics.

Does this look like an article about a "physics" research project to you? It's been a while since I was in school, but I don't believe we ever studied ancestral competition over inheritable spoils in African villages in my physics class. Maybe 10% of the articles here have to do with "physics".

So when the left stops "pushing their beliefs" here, I will be happy to do so as well.

Have a nice day.
Hesca419
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 25, 2011
Ah, turnabout is the fairest play of all....

Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded. Yup, this article helps support the idea that the beliefs you hold so dear contribute to further discord between people. And all you can do is throw sarcasm at it. Too bad.

Obama's current net worth is estimated at $1.1 million. Not sure when the 7000x multiplier is supposed to kick in, but clearly you just made that number up to instill in others a feeling that you know what you're talking about. Same with the $12 in net worth. Reductio ad absurdum, much?

Your biological and technological distinctiveness would become our own... but we prefer smart people who care about something other than themselves in the Collective. You are not welcome.
geokstr
1.4 / 5 (11) Jan 25, 2011
Obama's current net worth is estimated at $1.1 million. Not sure when the 7000x multiplier is supposed to kick in, but clearly you just made that number up to instill in others a feeling that you know what you're talking about.

The Clintons were in the hole when they left office. According to wikianswers, Bill is now worth $200 million and Hillary, whose accomplishments consist of covering for Bill, has a net worth of $34 million. Algore is estimated to be worth over 100 million, and would probably be on his way to being the first failed presidential candidate to be a billionaire until the AGW religion tanked.

And Obama's net worth is far above 1.3 mil, since he made >$4MM in one year recently. And you think he won't get an 8 figure advance for his first auto-hagiography (actually his third) once he leaves office, with a hundred 7 figure speaking fees every year for the next 20 years?

He will be the first billionaire ex-president.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) Jan 25, 2011
Another excuse for the state to confiscate wealth.

geokstr
1.4 / 5 (10) Jan 25, 2011
...this article helps support the idea that the beliefs you hold so dear contribute to further discord between people.

Yes, and once everyone has equal outcomes, with each giving according to his abilities and getting according to his needs, the world will be such a better place when the poverty is equally distributed. Except for the nomenklatura (I'm sure you'll be in there though, since you have such a high regard for your own brilliance), who will occasionally come down from their villas in their Learjets and Hummers to bestow blessings upon the serfs.

Competition is what makes people strive to be the best and most productive, which redounds to the benefit of all. Evolution itself is based on such competition for resources and mates. But St Karl of Marx will make it all good for us, without struggle or competition for anything. We won't even keep score for the Super Bowl then.
...in the Collective. You are not welcome.

You really think I give a rat's derriere?
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (7) Jan 26, 2011
Except for the nomenklatura (I'm sure you'll be in there though, since you have such a high regard for your own brilliance), who will occasionally come down from their villas in their Learjets and Hummers to bestow blessings upon the serfs.


And here, again, you go to absurd lengths to turn the sense of the article on its head. The research points to exactly the situation/process you describe as occurring AFTER equal re/distribution by the government was ended.

Which is exactly the outcome you desire, and so tirelessly promote. Dog-eat-dog freemarketeering inevitably leads to Monopoly/oligarchy/plutocracy and EXTREME class division.

It has exactly nothing to do with the theories of Marx and Engels, except to prove them in reverse.

geokstr
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 26, 2011
Yes, I still think you're 12 years old, because you have absolutely no knowledge or sense of history other than what you learned from the Zinnized textbooks that teach that the US is an evil, repressive, racist imperialist pariah.

What I am describing is exactly what happened to those 100 MILLION poor bastards killed by the benevolent leaders who followed the "theories of Marx and Engels" to their logical, inevitable, and invariably catastrophic conclusions.
JRDarby
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 26, 2011
Geokstr, YOU know nothing about history. Leninism and Stalinism were inspired by Marxism but the similarities end there. Marx's idea of communism called for a *gradual* shift from capitalism to communism. Lenin threw that completely out the window and called for immediate and violent revolution to overthrow Tsarism and the bourgeois class. Marxism had nothing to do with the Russian Revolution. You should at least know something about what you're talking about before you spout off against it.
JRDarby
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 26, 2011
If you are serious about characterizing Marx's philosophy in the way you have, I suggest you pull actual examples from either Marx or a legitimate authority on Marxist philosophy. The Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy is one such legitimate source. For your convenience, here is a link: plato DOT stanford DOT edu/entries/marx/

I really don't know what else to say to you because you're very set in the idea that everyone besides you and those who believe like you want to destroy America and have everything wrong. But, again, if you're serious about having a reasonable conversation, I encourage you to not bluster about and instead provide a coherent argument (sans mere opinions). It's very frustrating to even read your posts because there are so many fallacies and inaccuracies that it would take several pages to refute every stupidity that leaves the tips of your fingers.
JRDarby
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 26, 2011
By the way, 1-star rating me when I ask you for verification of your outrageous claims as I offer you a means to provide that verification is intellectually dishonest.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) Jan 26, 2011
Marx was a bum who lived off the wealth of Engels and dabbled in the stock market.
Why did anyone ever pay attention to his ideas. Could it be they are in that group of people Heinlein described as wanting to control others?
Whether a frog is slowly boiled or tossed into boiling water, it is still cooked and dead.
Gradual communism is no better that shock communism.
Both are deadly to human liberty and prosperity.
Socialism, 'progressivism', Fascism, communism are all the same in they all use force to confiscate individual wealth.
Caliban
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 27, 2011
Marx was a bum who lived off the wealth of Engels and dabbled in the stock market.
Why did anyone ever pay attention to his ideas. Could it be they are in that group of people Heinlein described as wanting to control others?
Whether a frog is slowly boiled or tossed into boiling water, it is still cooked and dead.
Gradual communism is no better that shock communism.
Both are deadly to human liberty and prosperity.
Socialism, 'progressivism', Fascism, communism are all the same in they all use force to confiscate individual wealth.


AND, again, all the mangynowrintintin/geokstr apologetics for freewheelin' capitalism aside, your comments have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the subject of this article.
geokstr
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 27, 2011
AND, again...your comments have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the subject of this article.

AND, again, you demonstrate that, at age 12, you apparently haven't learned to read with comprehension yet.

This article has everything to do with Marxist principles.

I'll repeat it, more slowly this time for you:

Government redistribution of other people's wealth = good.

Competition = bad.

People getting to decide for themselves who gets their property when they die = bad.

Mugabe is putting these principles to work by evicting white farm owners under threat of death and giving the land to his cronies. Chavez likewise, although without the racism.

Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin were also very much into these same practices, to the detriment of those 100 million poor bastards they killed for not believing in the dogma of St Karl of Marx.

No wonder you don't want to actually talk about the overarching principles that this article is very much about. Might make your head explode.
JRDarby
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 27, 2011
What does age 12 have to do with anything, geokstr? Anyway, you are creating a red herring. Marxism advocates that the PEOPLE redistribute the wealth of oppressive corporate masters after they take control of the government. Competition is not a concern: it is not bad, it's just not even a concern. Furthermore, there is no personal property--it is, like in Native American societies among others, a collective enterprise--and so it's not bad that people decide where their property goes upon death: it's not even a concern.

Mugabe is not even a communist: Mugabe is an old-bloc terrorist who touted ideological principles that he probably didn't even hold in order to gain power. What happened in Rhodesia was a travesty but that doesn't mean that Mugabe is indicative of communism any more than Rush Limbaugh speaks for all Republicans.
JRDarby
3 / 5 (4) Jan 27, 2011
Mao, Pol Pot, and Stalin were very different people with very different ideologies but one thing in common: they were totalitarian dictators regardless of their--often only nominal--ideological affiliation. Try looking up "Maoism" before you call it "Marxism." Besides that, try looking up "totalitarianism" and come back and tell me what you find out about rightist dictators.

Of course, you'd know all this if you had spent any time reading even a paragraph or two of articles on any of these subjects on Wikipedia. The core problem isn't that you're ignorant, though: it's that you believe very strongly that everything you believe is right and you're unwilling to compromise or see other points of view. That said, it's not even worth responding to you but I've chosen to do so as a catharsis for myself because otherwise I'm going to go insane reading the absolute drivel you keep posting.
geokstr
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 27, 2011
JR, I've been around a lot longer than you and have followed the catastrophic rise and fall of communism far more than what you can find from a few pages on wikipedia.

I was not addressing you with the 12 year old comment, I had someone else in mind. But I guess it applies to you as well, since you appear to feel that wikipedia is the be all.

I take the word of the dictators themselves. If they walk like a communist, talk like one, quack like one and claim to be one, I'll take their word for it. The results seem to be pretty much the same across the board. So Mao killed his 70 million because his cult of Marx was slightly different, so what?

But it is the supreme hubris of leftists today to claim that it really wasn't communism that killed all those people, even it they said they were. The left says those other guys just didn't do it right.

Pardon me if I have my doubts.
geokstr
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 27, 2011
And the fictitious "noble savage" is a myth. They waged wars among themselves, tortured captives, took slaves, and some practiced cannibalism and did all sorts of nasty things.

Yes, I believe in the concept of private property, and you will never convince me otherwise. Perhaps you won't mind if I send a poor person to your house to move in and take your computer. It all belongs to the Collective, non?

And that reminds me, my point was not even to specifically target "Communism" per se, but to rebut another commenter's claim that religious nuts killed more than secular maniacs. Communists or not, all the lunatics I named (Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.) were definitely secular, were they not?
JRDarby
3 / 5 (4) Jan 27, 2011
The problem, geokstr, is that though these dictators claim to be communists, they do not adhere at all to Marxist doctrine: there is no distribution of wealth to the people, it is not the people seizing power, and the transition is not gradual. These people aren't Marxists any more than Democrats want 100% direct control of the government by the people (the definition of democracy).

And the whole noble savage reference is also a red herring. No one has said anything about people being inherently noble and innocent. The comment about sending a poor person to my house to take my computer is a straw man argument, too. Just because something is collective wealth doesn't mean you can take it willy nilly without respect for others.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 27, 2011
freewheelin' capitalism

What is that?
Mao, Pol Pot, and Stalin were very different people with very different ideologies but one thing in common: they were totalitarian dictators regardless of their--often only nominal--ideological affiliation.

They all have the SAME ideology, power to control their people and their property, the same ideology of the 'progressives'.
Caliban
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 27, 2011
JR, I've been around a lot longer than you and


So you claim, but we all know that you're mangynowrintintin's snot-nosed kid brother. You pretend to age, because you think that adds some gravitas to your maunderings.

I was not addressing you with the 12 year old comment, I had someone else in mind.


That's the first factually accurate statement you've made yet!

I take the word of the dictators themselves. If they walk like a communist, talk like one, quack like [...] I'll take their word for it. So Mao killed his 70 million because his cult of Marx was slightly different, so what?


Because you have no idea what their actual words were. All your "knowledge" is of the revealed variety. And, besides, you clearly lack the brains to develop any of this theory on your own, and instead rely on ideology projectors like Beck and Limbaugh for all your "news" and "information", and it has scrambled what little wits youcould call your own.

geokstr
1.7 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2011
Callie:

You are probably the nastiest commenter here. Personal insults directed at people you disagree with permeate your statements.

I'm beginning to wonder if you have made it to 12 yet. Emotionally and intellectually, obviously not.
JRDarby
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 28, 2011
Callie:

You are probably the nastiest commenter here. Personal insults directed at people you disagree with permeate your statements.

I'm beginning to wonder if you have made it to 12 yet. Emotionally and intellectually, obviously not.


Probably the funniest and most hypocritical post I've seen on physorg. You go from criticizing someone for making ad hominem attacks to making an ad hominem attack IN THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE. Mind boggling at best!

And you still haven't responded to any of my rebuttals of your ridiculous statements.
Hesca419
3 / 5 (4) Jan 28, 2011
They all have the SAME ideology, power to control their people and their property, the same ideology of the 'progressives'.


Ryggesogn, I think you're talking about fascism: "A political regime, having totalitarian aspirations, ideologically based on a relationship between business and the centralized government, business-and-government control of the market place, repression of criticism or opposition, a leader cult and exalting the state and/or religion above individual rights"

You know... like your favorite news network.
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Jan 28, 2011
Callie:

You are probably the nastiest commenter here. Personal insults directed at people you disagree with permeate your statements.

I'm beginning to wonder if you have made it to 12 yet. Emotionally and intellectually, obviously not.


Well, since you seem to have such difficulty in reaching any conclusions, I expect that you'll soon burst into tears of frustration with your insufficient reasoning faculties. So go ahead and cry, crybaby. But don't forget to swallow what's in your mouth, first, so that you don't thereby increase the unseemliness of your display.

Oops! My apologies for not including any progressive/liberal/socialist/communist violent rhetoric. My bad.

ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 28, 2011
business-and-government control of the market place, repression of criticism or opposition, a leader cult and exalting the state and/or religion above individual rights"

Sounds like Obama.
Again, socialism, communism, fascism are all the same as they must use the power of the state to force their 'citizens' to pay and stay.
geokstr
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 28, 2011
Probably the funniest and most hypocritical post I've seen on physorg. You go from criticizing someone for making ad hominem attacks to making an ad hominem attack IN THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE. Mind boggling at best!

And you still haven't responded to any of my rebuttals of your ridiculous statements.

Look JR, you're a little late to this pissing match.

I questioned Taliban's age because of his lack of knowledge of even recent history. He refuses to say how old he is, and it's probably because he's too young to have any like, you know, knowledge of history.

But I asked him this long AFTER he began projecting his juvenile little homophobic slurs at people who just happened to disagree with him, another sign of his immaturity.

As for you, you asked me one question that I can recall that I didn't answer at the time for some reason I don't remember, and now you like to attack as well. Apparently you just don't like to be ignored, which is what I do with anything you say now.

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