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Sexual Division of Labor in Agriculture

Michael L. Burton and Douglas R. White
American Anthropologist
New Series, Vol. 86, No. 3 (Sep., 1984), pp. 568-583
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/678338
Page Count: 16
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Sexual Division of Labor in Agriculture
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Abstract

Female agricultural contributions decline with agricultural intensification. We formulate and test a theory of the processes of agricultural intensification that explains a high proportion of the variance in female contributions to agriculture. Five variables show replicable effects across two or more regions of the world. These are number of dry months, importance of domesticated animals to subsistence, use of the plow, crop type, and population density. Of these, the first two are the most powerful predictors of female agricultural contributions, while population density has only very weak effects

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