Thursday, May 06, 2010

Men, the hunters; women, the gatherers

A new study suggests that to get the same work done, men often expend 70% more energy than women. So tell us — the exasperated wives, infuriated women colleagues, impatient female friends, irritated sisters — what we didn’t know already.

A study of mushroom gatherers by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, to be published in Evolution and Human Behaviour, shows how men spread out far and wide, tackling difficult terrain, vigorously sweating it out to collect the same amount of mushroom as the women did, pottering about effortlessly on easy ground.

Apparently men went looking for mushroom-dense patches, never mind how far or how difficult to reach, whereas women quietly collected mushrooms from patches which could be sparser but easier to access and more frequently found. At the end of the day, the men and women had the same amount of mushrooms.

It’s all because of our hunter-gatherer past. Men, the primary hunters, are good at chasing a distant target, while women, primarily nurturers and gatherers, make the best of what they have closer at hand.

From Antara Dev Sen's comment  Men, the hunters; women, the gatherers in DNA
To read the full story click here

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