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The Role of remarriage in a microevolutionary process: considerations from a 19th-century Italian community

Manfredini, Matteo and Breschi, Marco (2006) The Role of remarriage in a microevolutionary process: considerations from a 19th-century Italian community. American Anthropologist, Vol. 108 (4), p. 854-861. eISSN 1548-1433. Article.

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DOI: 10.1525/aa.2006.108.4.854


In this study, we investigate the extent to which social norms and cultural constraints might affect the genetic contribution of remarriage to future generations in a mid–19th century Italian population. By reconstructing the life histories of the inhabitants of Casalguidi, 1,028 marriages were recorded and analyzed. Frequency and reproductive pattern of remarriages were found to play a quantitatively important role in the process of population renewal, featuring 20 percent of total unions and 12 percent of total children borne between 1820–58. Cultural patterns shaped the access to remarriage, but widows resulted more open than widowers in the partner choice. Furthermore, remarriages were more likely consanguineous than first unions because of socioeconomic reasons. As a result, a genotypic differentiation between the offspring of first marriage and remarriage was found. However, the lower intensity of female remarriage and the predominance of widowers' unions limited the potential differentiation in the gene pool of offspring.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:2811
Uncontrolled Keywords:Remarriage, population structure, endogamy, surnames
Subjects:Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-S/04 Demografia
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Economia, impresa, regolamentazione
Publisher:Blackwell / Wiley
Copyright Holders:© 2009 American Anthropological Association
Deposited On:25 Aug 2009 09:03

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