Sex Roles of our Ancestors

Introduction

Over the years, the debate over the sex roles of our ancestors has been more than just fierce. In discussing their sex roles, it intertwines with the discussion of gender roles today. In modern day, there are different arguments based on gender equality and gender stratification. However, the patterns of ancestry show that some cultures were patriarchal and others matriarchal, which defined the roles of women and men at the time (Booth 1). It is much different from today where almost all societies have been absorbed into the Western culture, and their way of doing things is based on the precedent taken by their cultural masters. Anthropologists have always tried to poke into finding an establishment of the sex roles from the early days, and their findings are extremely interesting in a big way.

 

Discussion

Research into the happenings that have been there over the years relating to sex roles indicates a lot. The prehistoric endeavors try to establish how our ancestors divided among themselves the roles of getting food, clothing and shelter, and how the roles shaped the evolving species. One of the most fundamental arguments on the basis of gender roles is that it played a great role in ensuring humans dominated the earth for a long time. This argument is based on the fact that today, a person can perform several tasks without messing around like other primates would.

It is common for social mammals to have a division of labor, setting up the culture of the species. For instance, it is the role of the female lion to hunt, while the male one fights fellow male lions and loaf around. The chimpanzees have a patriarchal social setting, with the contrary happening to the bonobos who have a matriarchal society. This is what anthropologists have always tried to get to the bottom of, with regard to human ancestors of early days, essentially starting with the Neanderthals.

One of the most interesting findings is the one that anthropologists based their argument of gender roles on the wear and tear differences of teeth of the Neanderthal man. The teeth show continued task manipulation of teeth, leading to a pattern of tear and wear (Lents 1). The valid conclusion is the differences shown in the tear and wear of the teeth is brought about by the differences in tasks that they committed their teeth to. Though some of the

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