Relaxed observance of traditional marriage rules allows social connectivity without loss of genetic diversity

Elsa G. Guillot, Martin L. Hazelton, Tatiana Karafet, J. Stephen Lansing, Herawati Sudoyo, Murray P. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Marriage rules, the community prescriptions that dictate who an individual can or cannot marry, are extremely diverse and universally present in traditional societies. A major focus of research in the early decades of modern anthropology, marriage rules impose social and economic forces that help structure societies and forge connections between them. However, in those early anthropological studies, the biological benefits or disadvantages of marriage rules could not be determined. We revisit this question by applying a novel simulation framework and genome-wide data to explore the effects of Asymmetric Prescriptive Alliance, an elaborate set of marriage rules that has been a focus of research for many anthropologists. Simulations show that strict adherence to these marriage rules reduces genetic diversity on the autosomes, X chromosome and mitochondrial DNA, but relaxed compliance produces genetic diversity similar to random mating. Genome-wide data from the Indonesian community of Rindi, one of the early study populations for Asymmetric Prescriptive Alliance, are more consistent with relaxed compliance than strict adherence. We therefore suggest that, in practice, marriage rules are treated with sufficient flexibility to allow social connectivity without significant degradation of biological diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2254-2262
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Volume32
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Fingerprint

marriage
Marriage
connectivity
genetic variation
Anthropology
compliance
Compliance
genome
Genome
anthropology
random mating
autosomes
Biodiversity
X Chromosome
X chromosome
Mitochondrial DNA
Research
mitochondrial DNA
simulation
Prescriptions

Keywords

  • Approximate Bayesian Computation
  • Asymmetric Prescriptive Alliance
  • Genetic diversity
  • Indonesia
  • Mating systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Relaxed observance of traditional marriage rules allows social connectivity without loss of genetic diversity. / Guillot, Elsa G.; Hazelton, Martin L.; Karafet, Tatiana; Stephen Lansing, J.; Sudoyo, Herawati; Cox, Murray P.

In: Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol. 32, No. 9, 2015, p. 2254-2262.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Guillot, Elsa G. ; Hazelton, Martin L. ; Karafet, Tatiana ; Stephen Lansing, J. ; Sudoyo, Herawati ; Cox, Murray P. / Relaxed observance of traditional marriage rules allows social connectivity without loss of genetic diversity. In: Molecular Biology and Evolution. 2015 ; Vol. 32, No. 9. pp. 2254-2262.
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