ERIC Number: ED225923
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Dec
Reference Count: 0
What Happened to Woman the Gatherer?
Zihlman, Adrienne L.
Reactions to the "woman the gatherer" theory, introduced in the 1970's as an alternative to the "man the hunter" thesis in anthropology, have been to accept, ignore it, or combine it with the hunting theory. The "man the hunter" model stresses that primitive males hunted for meat and provided food and protection for their mates and children who stayed at the home base. The competing hypothesis suggests that major food of early human beings consisted of plants, obtained by women with the use of tools and shared with their offspring. The contrast focuses on how female behavior is conceptualized: as mobile and active or as sedentary and passive. Responses to both theories, however, depend on which anthropological evidence is used, how it is interpreted, what animal models are used, and which behaviors form the starting point. Future analysis should recognize the underlying continuity in the evolutionary process, question the tendency to assign roles by sex, recognize that no one scenario exists for the four million years of prehistory, and focus on questions outside the models, both of which have stressed food and gender roles. (KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (Washington, DC, December 1982).