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Mon Oct 1, 2018, 07:09 AM

Gender Egalitarianism Made Us Human: The 'Feminist Turn' In Human Origins

(excerpt) Most influential in the turn around from a male-only perspective on human evolution has been the grandmother hypothesis. This stemmed from observation of women’s work among the Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania, particularly of older women’s regular daily contributions, in contrast to the relatively uncertain production of big-game hunters. This interdisciplinary model drew on detailed Pleistocene archaeological contexts and life history theory to present two major challenges to ‘man the hunter’ orthodoxy. First, it questioned that the earliest investment in hominin offspring by someone other than the mother came from males, proposing intergenerational alliances of related females initially. Secondly, it challenged patrilocal residence or male philopatry as a default for hominins – that is the assumption that males lived with their relatives, previously accepted as homologous with great apes. There has been a significant research effort dedicated subsequently to discovering grandmother effects in terms of child survival and maternal fitness across a wide range of societies.


https://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2018/10/gender-egalitarianism-made-us-human-the-feminist-turn-in-human-origins.html

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