The persistent idea that men evolved to hunt and women to gather is a relatively unfounded assumption that is facing more academic resistance than ever before.
Archaeological evidence and new examinations of human physiology strongly suggest that modern gender roles have colored our reconstructions of our distant past.
According to biological anthropologists Sarah Lacy of the University of Delaware and Carla Ocobock of the University of Notre Dame, womenIdeal for endurance activities such as hunting” and there is little evidence to support that they did not participate in prehistoric hunting.
Together, Lacey and Okobock contributed to the influential “Man the Hunter” theory, first proposed in the 1960s by male anthropologists who believed their gender was intellectually and physically superior. I object.
“There were women who were publishing about this in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, but their work continued to be relegated to, ‘Oh, that’s feminist criticism or a feminist approach.'” To tell Lacy.
“We wanted to enhance the discussions they were already having and add everything new to it.”
Lacey and Okobock analyze data on the Paleolithic period, which covers human history up to the advent of agriculture, and argue that there is little to suggest that there was a sexual division of labor during the Paleolithic period.
Tool-making, flint-throwing, and spear-throwing, all of the lines of evidence originally used to support male hunting, could easily have been carried out by women, they say.
Furthermore, both male and female skeletons from the past were buried with weapons and big game hunting tools, indicating a lack of social hierarchy based on gender.
These human remains have a similar pattern of trauma, with marks of repeated throwing more clearly visible on the male remains, but this does not preclude females from other hunting techniques.
Even in modern times, there is ample evidence to suggest that hunter-gatherer tribes often divide hunting duties between men and women.
For example, earlier this year study They found evidence of female hunting in nearly 80 percent of hunter-gatherer societies of the past century. Furthermore, in societies where hunting was the largest source of food, women participated in hunting 100 percent of the time.
Mothers in these societies often took their children with them on hunting or fishing trips instead of returning to camp to care for them.
of Agta female For example, Filipino men have their own strategies and weapons for killing animals, which are very different from men’s hunting techniques.
Still, both sexes spent equal amounts of time chasing and killing prey, and females often did so while menstruating or nursing infants.
The idea that women’s bodies are not equipped or capable of hunting is especially false.
In a supporting paper focused on human physiology, Lacey and Okobok claim “Women are severely underrepresented in exercise physiology and sports medicine research.”
Actually recent study It found that only 34 percent of women participated in sports and exercise research.
Moreover, Only 3 percent of studies Regarding human athleticism, consider the woman herself.
The authors do not deny that there are real biological differences between men and women, but that these differences are often ignored or understudied to fit modern stereotypes. They argue that it is too often misunderstood and misunderstood.
For example, women’s bodies tend to be better suited for extreme endurance activities, a key skill needed to hunt big game. On average, women have less speed and strength than men, but that does not mean that their physical contribution is wasted.
Paleolithic hunter-gatherer societies were small and probably female-dominated, so their members probably had to be flexible in their labor roles. No amount of money can be wasted.
“The gender role assumptions of researchers who place their worldview within recent Western patriarchy should not be accepted as the default social organization of people who lived more than 100,000 years ago.” claim Lacey and Ocobock.
“In the past, all genders contributed equally to life, and future research should assume this as the default.”