Study: Early Men and Women Were Equal in Tribal Society
The study opposes the notion that sexual equality is merely a goal of modern society that is mostly free of concerns over resource scarcity.
Inequality among men and women is a feature of our post-agrarian society, not a quality inherent to earlier hunter-gatherer groups, according to new analyses done by anthropologists at University College London. The study opposes the notion that sexual equality is merely a goal of modern society that is mostly free of concerns over resource scarcity.
The researchers examined how contemporary hunter-gatherer groups formed social relationships and self-organized, one in the Congo and one in the Philippines, "including kinship relations, movement between camps, and residence patterns, through hundreds of interviews."
They found that women had as much say as men concerning the group's most important decision, such as when to move on from an area and with whom the groups should socialize. Specifically, anthropologists believe women's influence resulted in larger and more diverse social networks — a quality that was surely advantageous form an evolutionary perspective.
“When only men have influence over who they are living with, the core of any community is a dense network of closely related men with the spouses on the periphery,” said anthropologist Mark Dyble. “If men and women decide ... you come into contact with more people and you can share innovations, which is something that humans do par excellence.”
Only with the dawn of agriculture, when resources could be accumulated, did imbalances in influence emerge. At that point, it became advantageous to form alliances with other male-dominated groups that likewise hoarded resources. Researchers say that our post-agrarian society more closely resembles chimp societies than hunter-gather ones, since chimps live in male-dominated, highly stratified hierarchies.
Thankfully, organizations are increasingly realizing the benefits of creating a workforce that is sexually equal. As Tim Hanstad, president and CEO of Landesa, a nonprofit dedicated to securing land property rights for the world’s poorest people, explains, empowering women is a rising tide that lifts all boats.
Read more at The Guardian.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.
- A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
- Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
- The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Even when they suffer costs in doing so.
- It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
- In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
- The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.
- Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
- He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
- Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.