Ask yourself, “Are Modern Women Excellent Gatherers?”

Kudos to Larry Morgan of Sandwalk, who pointed out this New Scientist news article last week, “Modern women are excellent gatherers,”Hunter Gatherer Cartoon

“Men hunted, women gathered. That is how the division of labor between the sexes is supposed to have been in the distant past. According to a new study, an echo of these abilities can still be found today.

Max Krasnow and colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have discovered that modern women are better than men at remembering the location of food such as fruit and veg in a market.

The researchers led 86 adults to certain stalls in Santa Barbara’s large Saturday farmer’s market, then back to a location in the center of the market from where the stalls could not be seen. They were then asked to point to each stall’s location. This requires dead reckoning – a skill that men may once have used to return from hunting, and one that men today still usually perform better than women in experiments…”

I’m gonna refrain from commenting in depth on this research because everything I’ve been taught in anthropology has told me this sort of science is ridiculous… As if we can infer how prehistoric societies broke down gender roles and division of labor. I really thought anthropology was beyond this.

If you’re interested in reading the source article, it was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences, Spatial adaptations for plant foraging: women excel and calories count.”

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