Existait-il chez les chasseurs-cueilleurs une division sexuelle du travail ? A quand remonte-t-elle ? Les hommes sont-ils chasseurs et les femmes cueilleuses ? Si oui, cette division est-elle absolue ? L’idée que les hommes sont les pourvoyeurs majoritaires de nourriture est-elle exacte ? Quels sont les indices en faveur d’une division du travail remontant au paléolithique ? Comment a évolué cette division du travail au néolithique ? Peut-on tirer de cette histoire de la division du travail des conclusions sociologiques ou psychologiques encore utiles aujourd’hui ?
Hadza Hunter-Gatherers Exhibit Gender Differences in Space Use and Spatial Cognition Consistent with the Ecology of Male and Female Targeted Foods
Wood et al.
University of Nevada publications, 2019
Results show that Hadza men walked further per day, explored more land, followed more sinuous paths, and were much more likely to be alone while traveling. These patterns emerged early in life, before age 10, and persisted across the life course.
Development of social learning and play in BaYaka hunter-gatherers of Congo
Salali et al.
Nature scientific reports, 2019
Throughout childhood boys engage in play more often than girls whereas girls start foraging wild plants from early childhood and spend more time in domestic activities and childcare. Sex differences in play reflect the emergence of sexual division of labour and the play-work transition occurring earlier for girls.
[…] hunter-gatherer girls’ play activities would involve food gathering and domestic skills, whilst boys’ would relate to skills required for hunting and climbing trees for honey collection.
Using Dental Microwear to Assess Extramasticatory Activities at Roonka Flat: An Investigation into the Division of Labour of Pre-Colonial Hunter-Gatherers
University of Oakland, 2019
By analysing these features, it emerged that there is no difference in chipping distribution or microstriation patterns between males and females, indicating that there may have been a level of parity between males and females in using the teeth as tools, and processing plants and sinew into cord and fishing equipment. Analysing labial striations revealed that there was a significant difference in the presence of this feature on male and female dentition, with almost every individual with labial striations being male. While this may indicate that stuff-and-cut activities are dominated by males, female inclusion in this activity indicates that a strict sexual division of labour in this activity may be inaccurate. Overall, microwear features indicate both male and female participation in the activities that are identifiable in dentition, calling into question the reliability of ethnohistoric resources to understand prehistoric ways of life.
A critical analysis of the evidence for sexual division of tasks in the european upper paleolithic (chapitre de livre)
Sophie A. de Beaune
Squeezing minds from tools, 2018
“I sing of arms and of a man…”: medial epicondylosis and the sexual division of labour in prehistoric Europe
Villotte & Knüsel
Journal of archeological science, 2014
This indicates that males, but not females, preferentially employed movements involving throwing motions in these hunter-gatherer and early farming groups. Based on this evidence we postulate the existence of a persistent sexual division of labour in these prehistoric European populations involving one or several strenuous activities linked to unilateral limb use.
Osteological clues for the presence of a sexual division of labour in the Eurasian Middle Paleolithic
Leiden university, 2011
In this bachelor thesis I investigate whether Neanderthals had a sexual division of labour or not. I established three hypotheses: 1) Neanderthals had a sexual division of labour where males hunt and females gather plant foods and perform other activities, 2) Neanderthals had a sexual division of labour where males and females hunt but males perform the most dangerous tasks, 3) there was no sexual division of labour and males and females hunted and gathered in equal amounts. To find out if Neanderthals had a sexual division of labour, a meta-study of two osteological analyses applied to Neanderthal bones was performed. The first methods that was used was a comparison of the shape and robusticity of male and female Neanderthal limb bones compared to samples of modern human hunter-gatherers and sedentary populations. Secondly the distribution of trauma across the skeletons of male and female Neanderthals was compared. In both of the analyses the evidence pointed towards the first hypothesis. The evidence however was too limited. The small sample size of sexable Neanderthals was the largest issue. I concluded that according to the data gathered in this thesis hypothesis 1 is the most likely. However, none of the three hypotheses can be rejected confidently due to the limited evidence.
Subsistence activities and the sexual division of labor in the European Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic: Evidence from upper limb enthesopathies
Villotte et al.
Journal of human evolution, 2010
Four males exhibit lesions that can be confidently associated with throwing activities, while no females exhibit such lesions.
Paleolithic Diet and the Division of Labor in Mediterranean Eurasia, in The evolution of hominin diet (livre)
Stiner & Kuhn
Hunter-gatherers of the recent era vary in many aspects of culture, yet they display great uniformity in their tendency to divide labor along the lines of gender and age. We argue on the basis of zooarchaeological, technological, and demographic evidence that the complementary economic roles of men and women so typical of ethnographically documented hunter-gatherers did not appear in Eurasia until the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic. The rich archaeological record of Middle Paleolithic cultures in Eurasia suggests, by contrast, that earlier hominins (Neandertals, among others) pursued narrowly focused economies, with women’s activities more closely aligned to those of men with respect to schedules and territory use patterns.
Enthésopathies et activités des hommes préhistoriques – Recherche méthodologique et application aux fossiles européens du Paléolithique supérieur et du Mésolithique
Sébastien Vilotte (thèse), 2008
L’analyse a permis de caractériser une relation entre les modifications osseuses et l’activité physique pour l’un des systèmes. Ce dernier a ensuite été appliqué à un ensemble de fossiles européens du Paléolithique supérieur et du Mésolithique (n = 95) dont les caractéristiques biologiques (âge et sexe) ont été réévaluées au moyen de méthodes fiables. Les résultats attestent de l’intérêt de la démarche. D’une part, ils permettent d’avancer l’hypothèse d’une division sexuelle du travail à ces périodes, avec une pratique du lancer dévolue aux hommes. Ils révèlent d’autre part des différences comportementales entre les populations gravettiennes et celles des périodes plus récentes, impliquant notamment une réduction des distances parcourues et une intensification de l’exploitation du milieu à la fin du Paléolithique supérieur et au Mésolithique.
Hunting and Gathering. The Human Sexual Division of Foraging Labor
Frank W. Marlowe
Cross-cultural research, 2007
Why Do Men Hunt? A Reevaluation of “Man the Hunter” and the Sexual Division of Labor
Gurven & Hill
Current anthropology, 2007
The role of men in hunter‐gatherer societies has been subject to vigorous debate over the past 15 years. The proposal that men hunt wild game as a form of status signaling or “showing off” to provide reproductive benefits to the hunter challenges the traditional view that men hunt to provision their families. Two broad assumptions underlie the signaling view: (1) hunting is a poor means of obtaining food, and (2) hunted game is a public good shared widely with others and without expectation of future reciprocation. If hunters lack the ability to direct food shares and obtain subsequent benefits contingent on redistribution, then the ubiquitous observations of male hunting and universal pair‐bonding cannot be explained from a perspective that emphasizes kin provisioning and a division of labor. Here we show that there is little empirical support for the view that men hunt for signaling benefits alone.
[…]On average, men contribute about 65% of the calories and85% of the protein to the forager diet (Kaplan et al. 2000;Marlowe 2001)
The Female Advantage in Object Location MemoryAccording to the Foraging Hypothesis:A Critical Analysis
Isabelle Ecuyer-Dab & Michèle Robert
Human nature, 2007
Across a wide range of modern foragers, the main gathering responsibility is indeed women’s, whereas men are mostly found to gather opportunistically (Hawkes et al.1997;Hayden1992), as among the Bushmen from Botswana (Silberbauer1981), the Achéfrom Paraguay (Hawkes1993), and the Mardudjara Aborigines (Gould 1981; Tonkinson 1978) or the Meriam (Bliege Bird et al.2001) from Australia. In less-typical groups, men collect plants on par with women: This is the case among the Tiwi from Australia (Goodale 1971) and the Agta from the Philippines(Estioko-Griffin and Griffin 1981,1985).
[…] Hunting with projectile weapons (e.g., arrows and spears) is usually engaged in by men, large-game hunting being their almost exclusive domain (Hawkes et al. 1997; Kaplan andHill 1992; Murdock and Provost 1973; Webster 1981). Relying on stationary implements like traps, snares, and nets, women’s involvement in the capture of small prey is nonetheless frequently encountered. Such meat procurement by women occurs among the Bushmen (Silberbauer 1981), the Aché (Kaplan and Hill 1992),the Tiwi (Goodale 1971), the Chipewyan (Jarvenpa and Brumbach 1995), and the Matses from Peru (Romanoff1983).
[…] This does not mean however that women are unfit for hunting medium-size and large game, wielding the same weapons as men. Women engage in such hunting among the Agta (Estioko-Griffin and Griffin 1981,1985) as well as the Ojibwa(Landes 1938) and the Kaska (Honigmann 1964) from North America. What is more, these women have significant success.
The Organization of Male and Female Labor in Foraging Societies: Implications for Early Paleoindian Archaeology
Nicole M. Waguespack
American Anthropologist, 2005
Mobility in Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic Europe: Evidence from the lower limb
Brigitte M. Holt
American journal of physical anthropology, 2003
Sexual dimorphism levels in diaphyseal strength remain low throughout the three time periods, suggesting a departure in Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic foragers away from the pattern of division of labor by sex observed in modern hunter‐gatherers. Results confirm that the onset of the Last Glacial Maximum represents a crucial stage in Late Pleistocene human evolution, and signals the appearance of some of the behavioral adaptations that are usually associated with the Neolithic, such as sedentism.
A Cross-Cultural Analysis of the Behavior of Women and Men : Implications for the Origins of Sex Differences
Wendy Wood & Alice H. Eagly
Psychological bulletin, 2002
Sexual division of labor: energetic and evolutionary scenarios
American journal of human biology, 2002
Attention to energetic and reproductive trade‐offs has usefully challenged the proposition that women are excluded from big‐game hunting due to constraints of foraging ecology and reproduction. Simplistic assumptions about gender roles are thus increasingly questioned in anthropology, as well as in archaeology.
Male Contribution to Diet and Female Reproductive Success among Foragers
Current anthropology, 2001
Male contribution to diet varies from 25 to 100%, with a mean of 64% (S.D.p18.3, n p 95). Because there is less edible plant food for women to gather in colder climates, male contribution is higher at higher latitudes, where effective temperature is lower (r p .512, p ! 0.0005, n p 82). Male contribution is also greater where biomass is greater […] In environments where effective temperature is greater than 13C (between about latitudes 45N and 45S, mean male contribution to diet is 55% (S.D.p15.9, n p 36). […] Although greater male contribution to diet may or may not reduce subadult mortality, its impact on fertility is clear. Where male contribution to diet is greater, women’s fertility (TFR) is higher (bp.497, pp0.010, d.f.p24) (fig. 1). Controlling for biomass, the positive effect of male contribution to diet on TFR is even greater (b p .740, p p 0.003, d.f. p 20). Greater male contribution to diet must allow females to maintain ovarian function better by foraging less and spending less energy or by weaning earlier or both. Age at weaning is lower where male contribution to diet is greater (r p .279, p p 0.081, n p 40) and significantly lower controlling for biomass […]
Evolution : Diet, Intelligence, and Longevity
Kaplan et al.
Evolutionnary anthropology, 2000
(Cité par Priscille Touraille)
Cooperation and Conflict: The Behavioral Ecologyof the Sexual Division of Labor
Evolutionary anthropology, 1999
When it comes to subsistence, men and women in almost all societies do it differently. One long-standing explanation for this sexual division of labor is that men and women pair up to provision offspring and specialize in subsistence activities in order to maximize household productivity. This model of cooperative parental provisioning has generally been supported by the proposal that both male and female reproductive success is maximized by provisioning current offspring rather than deserting them in order to seek new mating opportunities. But recent analyses of bird behavior have often failed to support this premise. We now know that among many species conflicting reproductive strategies between males and females often result in less than optimal compromises with regard to mating and parenting. This new focus on the role of sexual selection in creating compromise and conflict between the sexes has the potential to illuminate many puzzling aspects of human partnerships between men and women. To demonstrate its potential, I compare the explanatory power of a cooperative provisioning model of sex difference in human foraging and food sharing with a model incorporating conflicting reproductive goals.
(cité par Priscille Touraille)
Why Hunter-Gatherers Work: An Ancient Version of the Problem of Public Goods [and Comments and Reply]
Hawkes et al.
Current anthropology, 1993
People who hunt and gather for a living share some resources more widely than others. A favored hypothesis to explain the differential sharing is that giving up portions of large, unpredictable resources obligates others to return shares of them later, reducing everyone’s variance in consumption. I show that this insurance argument is not empirically supported for !Kung, Ache, and Hadza foragers. An alternative hypothesis is that the cost of notsharing these resources is too high to pay. If exclusion costs are high, then these resources are like public goods. If so, why does anyone provide them? I briefly review treatments of the problem of public goods by economists and use a simple model to show why self-interested actors will rarely find the consumption value they place on collective goods sufficient reason to supply them. The model underlines the obvious corollary that individuals get more to consume if others provide collective goods. This is a reason to prefer neighbors and associates who are suppliers. Such a preference may itself be a benefit worth seeking. I construct another simple model to explore this. Taken together the models suggest two competing foraging goals: feeding one’s family and gaining social benefits instead. This highlights conflicts of economic interest among family members. It is a direct challenge to influential scenarios of human evolution built on the assumption that men are primarily paternal investors who hunt to support their spouses and offspring.
Sexual dimorphism in human lower limb bone structure: relationship to subsistence strategy and sexual division of labor
Journal of human evolution, 1987
Cross-sectional geometric properties of the human femur and tibia are compared in males and females in a number of recent and archaeological population samples extending back to the Middle Paleolithic. There is a consistent decline in sexual dimorphism from hunting-gathering to agricultural to industrial subsistence strategy levels in properties which measure relative anteroposterior bending strength of the femur and tibia in the region about the knee. This trend parallels and is indicative of reductions in the sexual division of labor, in particular differences in the relative mobility of males and females. Sexual dimorphism in mediolateral bending strength near the hip shows no consistent temporal trend, probably reflecting relatively constant sex differences in pelvic structure related to the requirements of childbirth. Upper and Middle Paleolithic samples are indistinguishable in terms of sexual dimorphism from modern huntergatherers, suggesting a similar sexual division of labor.