Skip to main content

Adam Reynolds Awarded 2019 AAA Student Presentation Prize

Departmental News

Posted:  Dec 03, 2019 - 01:00pm

Adam Reynolds, Evolutionary Anthropolog graduate student, was awarded a student presentation prize from the Evolutionary Anthropology Society at the 2019 AAA meetings for his presentation: Kinship predicts inflammation among the Mosuo of Southwest China. 

Based on the co-authored article, Matriliny predicts lower inflammation for women in the Mosuo of Southwest China, and research funded by the National Science Foundation, his presentation discussed kinship systems which underlie all of human social life and that are associated with important inequalities between men and women. It is well-established that members of the favored gender in matrilineal and patrilineal societies enjoy increased autonomy, resource access, and social support. However, it remains unknown whether these gender inequalities lead to disparities in long-term health and disease risk. Here we use C-reactive protein (CRP), a dominant inflammatory protein that indexes risk for many chronic diseases, to investigate gender disparities in long-term inflammation and disease risk among matrilineal and patrilineal populations of Mosuo agriculturalists in Southwest China. Our results show that (i) while women experience higher rates of elevated CRP than men in patriliny, (ii) this gender disparity is reversed in matriliny, where men face higher rates of elevated CRP than women. Chronic inflammation and disease risk thus depend not only on gender, but also on the kinship system in which one is embedded.

Adam Z. Reynolds1, Katherine Wander2, Melissa Emery Thompson1, Paul L. Hooper1, Kathrine E. Starkweather1, Chun-Yi Sum3, Su Mingjie4, Li Hui4, Tami Blumenfield1, Mary K. Shenk5, Siobhan M. Mattison1

1 Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico; Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

2 Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University (SUNY), Binghamton, New York, USA

3 Department of Anthropology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA

4 MOE Key Laboratory, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

5 Department of Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, USA