Women are more active hunters than previously thought

New research challenges the traditional belief that men exclusively hunt while women gather in foraging societies. A recent study conducted by Abigail Anderson and colleagues from Seattle Pacific University analyzed data from 63 foraging societies worldwide over the past century. Contrary to popular assumptions, the findings revealed that women hunt in 79% of these societies, regardless of their status as mothers.

The study also demonstrated that female hunting is often intentional rather than opportunistic, with women actively targeting game of various sizes, including large game. Moreover, women play a significant role in teaching hunting practices and exhibit a greater diversity of weapon choice and hunting strategies compared to men.

These findings not only counter long-held perceptions about gender roles in foraging societies but also shed light on the misinterpretation of archaeological evidence. The authors emphasize the need to reevaluate objects buried with women, which were often dismissed as hunting tools in the past. They caution against the erroneous application of the notion that men exclusively hunt and women exclusively gather in future research.

Source: Public Library of Science

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