Gender Role in Hunter-Gather and Agriculture-Based Society

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Hunter-gather and industrialized-agriculture society, as two different human living styles, have heavy drastic differences in lots of aspects, such as gender role, social structure, social mobility, family structure, life span, workplace, and so on. It is the goal of this article to particularly outline the main change of gender role and the reasons of it during the hunter-gatherer and agriculturally-based stages of human society. The gender role was equal in hunter-gather society and then lost its balance in agriculture-based society by leaning to men’s position. In the hunter-gather society, gender roles seemed not like to have much unbalance.There was a large portion of the differences of gender roles that depended on the size of food being obtained by men and women. According to Gurven and Hill (2009), there were five main aspects of hunter-gatherer human society plays a significant role in the sexual division of labor. They are “(1) long-term dependency of high-cost offspring, (2) optimal dietary mix of macronutrients from mutually exclusive foods, (3) efficient foraging based on skill-dependent learning, (4) frequent spatiotemporal segregation of important resource types, and (5) sex-differentiated comparative advantage in tasks” . Because of these five factors, the sexual division of labor was more often in a condition of that men were hunters and women were gatherers. Men, as a hunter, they needed to be trained to track and hunt big animals. Their roles in society quite depended upon the meat size they could offer. For example, if a man generally failed to hunt or do not hunt often, he would have poorer mate choice and might not able to participate on future treks and other social activities. In contrast, women’s role in society was more stable. Women in a hunter-gatherer society should gather small animals, like shellfish, or plants and also take care of children. Generally speaking, women could gather foods depend on their husband’s hunt size, that is...
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