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DNA evidence traces roots of sexism to pre-medieval times



An analysis of the dental part suggests that European women did not have the same chances as men when it came to health care.

Paleogenetic studies performed on DNA samples from over 10,000 individuals worldwide Europe Despite the progress made by feminism in the last century, sexism remains “stubborn” in many parts of the world, as detailed in a study published Monday by PNAS magazine. was shown.

he reporta study conducted by Washington University in St. Louis (WashU, an acronym in English) reveals that in Europe, prejudice against women arose in the Middle Ages and has persisted ever since.

Inheritance of inequality due to various factors

The team analyzed tooth remains from more than 10,000 people collected from 139 locations across Europe over the past 1,000 years.

In this way, he finds that people living in areas that historically have disfavored women in favor of men are more likely to be male than those living in places where gender relations were more equal centuries ago. found to exhibit prejudice in favor of

This research suggests that attitudes towards gender are “transmitted” or inherited through education and culture. Prejudice survives even major socioeconomic and political changes such as industrialization and world wars.

exception that proves the rule

In fact, the researchers observed an exception that bolstered their theory: the transmission of these values ​​was disrupted in regions that experienced large and sudden population replacements, such as pandemics and natural disasters.

“The average age of the skeletons in this study is about 1,000 years old, which dates back to the Middle Ages. It is therefore surprising that the patterns of gender bias that existed then and before are replicated in contemporary attitudes,” he said. Professor Margit Tavits of WashU said.

“Even if institutions and structures fostered inequality, norms of gender equality transmitted from one generation to the next may persist, and vice versa,” he added.

To change the situation, we need to fix the cultural dimension

Mr Tavits said: The cultural forces that convey these beliefs need to be addressed. ”

To study gender equality in history, Researchers analyzed permanent tooth lesions caused by linear hypoplasia of tooth enamel, trauma, malnutrition, or disease that provides important information about a person’s health and living conditions.

difference between men and women in the past

These differences between male and female teeth in the same position indicate which gender was favored in terms of health care and dietary resources at the time.

Researchers have repeatedly found evidence linking past and present discriminatory attitudes. For example, people who lived in historically equal neighborhoods were 20% more likely to have favorable attitudes toward women than those who lived in men-friendly neighborhoods.

“These results support the notion that historical biases are passed on from generation to generation, and that they persist because they occur only if transmission between generations is uninterrupted. I was surprised to be born,” concludes Tavits.

Source: Biobiochile

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