ERIC Number: ED238789
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
Origins of the Sexual Division of Labor.
An interactive, biosocial model of early hominids presents evidence that physical sex differences are not the basis for the sexual division of labor as is commonly believed. Production (the deliberate collection and distribution of food) developed among early hominids as a prerequisite for survival. Although the population appears to have had marked physical sex differences, production activities were pursued equally and in similar fashion by all able-bodied individuals regardless of sex or age. Divisions of labor occurred only when immediate situations or individual circumstances demanded. With developments in technologies of food acquisition and processing and changes in diet, individuals needed to learn different skills to perform the more complex tasks, and skills became differentiated by sex. Now, long before the appearance of reproductive sex differences, children get sorted and socialized for the tasks they will perform as adult men and women. A fundamental conclusion of this model is that the subordination of women did not accompany the appearance of a sexual division of labor and thus is not something basic to the human condition. (LP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Division of Labor
Note: In: Women's Nature: Rationalizations of Inequality. New York, Pergamon Press, Inc., 1983. p123-147.