Abstract: This paper uses a measure of the long-term impact of ancestral malaria burden, which dates from when official malaria data is not available to assess its impact on the cultural traits of ethnic groups in the pre-industrial Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). There is causal evidence that the incidence of malaria in the ancestral homelands raises the probability of patrilineal inheritance rules and patriarchal local headman succession by about one-third percentual points. The results are not stranger since pregnant women and children under five years old are the most risk population of malaria. Thus, the scapegoating effect associated with women’s responsibilities as caregivers outweighs the women’s complementarities inside the group, unbalancing the gender roles. In the last section, using the information on people’s ethnicity and exploiting the variation of immigrants between homelands, there are suggestive results that confirm that malaria suitability is a strong predictor of the gender’s perception in politics.