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Author Topic: New Focus on Women in Evolution  (Read 4547 times)
trehinp
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« on: March 06, 2009, 02:43:22 AM »

Here is a very interesting analysis about the role of women in human evolutionary processes. As  Dr Karen Rosenberg, professor of anthropology at the University of Delaware said in the interview:
“Until recently, there was a sexism in the study of evolution. Researchers focused on men and the tools they used in hunting, and these things were more difficult to connect to reproductive success and hence to natural selection. With childbirth, as well as many of the other things that happen to women -- pregnancy, nursing, menopause -- it's really easy to see how natural selection works.”


Quote
Anthropologist's Studies of Childbirth Bring New Focus on Women in Evolution
Source: University of Delaware                Tue 17-Feb-2009

Newswise — Contrary to the TV sitcom where the wife experiencing strong labor pains screams at her husband to stay away from her, women rarely give birth alone. There are typically doctors, nurses and husbands in hospital delivery rooms, and sometimes even other relatives and friends. Midwives often are called on to help with births at home.
Assisted birth has likely been around for millennia, possibly dating as far back as 5 million years ago when our ancestors first began walking upright, according to University of Delaware paleoanthropologist Karen Rosenberg.
She says that social assistance during childbirth is just one aspect of our evolutionary heritage that makes us distinctive as humans.
Click here for more

Any one aware of other studies focussing on women's role in human evolution? Actually in any domain, not only procreative aspects.

Paul
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Paul Trehin
trehinp
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2009, 12:58:49 PM »

OK, I'm starting my own reply...

Here is a book that is apparently directly addressing the subject...
Women in Human Evolution
Par Lori D. Hager
Routledge, 1997
ISBN 0415108330, 9780415108331
Quote
Women in Human Evolution challenges the traditional invisibility of women in human prehistory, rejecting the conventional relegation of women to the realm of reproduction in order to ask what else our female ancestors were doing.

Raising key questions about both the existing archaeological evidence and the theoretical models which influence its interpretation, the contributors discuss the evolutionary models used to explain gender differences. They suggest reinterpretations of existing evidence to construct a model of human evolution which places women in a more central role. Shifting their focus to the nature of the discipline itself, they ask what impact women paleoanthropologists have had on the field's theoretical assumptions and what work remains to be done.

Unfortunately, it is one of those 100 $ + type book... I read a few extracts, it looks fascinating.
Did any one read this book and would any one kindly share their impression on it?

Thanks

Paul
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Paul Trehin
lagarvelho
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2009, 07:57:59 PM »

Paul:

It's over $100????? I wonder if you can get it cheaper, say through Oxbow Books or something. You might want to search around, just in case.
Anne G
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aggsbach
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2009, 11:34:55 PM »

A book focusing on womens labour in the paleolithic is Linda Owens (from the Tübingen group) publication:

Distorting the Past: Gender and the Division of Labor in the European Upper Paleolithic.ISBN: 978-3-935751-02-5

Hardcover. 240 pgs., 37 illus.

39.95 Euro
which can be ordered by amazon (Germany)

Best regards
Johannes
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Bones
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2009, 06:13:52 PM »

“Until recently, there was a sexism in the study of evolution. Researchers focused on men and the tools they used in hunting, and these things were more difficult to connect to reproductive success and hence to natural selection. With childbirth, as well as many of the other things that happen to women -- pregnancy, nursing, menopause -- it's really easy to see how natural selection works.”

It is difficult for me to see how the acquisition of food is a less central and obvious driver of human evolution than the social roles of menopausal females.

Where is the sexism more pervasive -- with hunting observers or Rosenberg?
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