Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Joining The Hunt: New Study Investigates Role Of 'Showoff Hypothesis' In Social Decisions

Date:
February 28, 2006
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
A new study of the Hadza population in Tanzania, forthcoming in the April 2006 issue of Current Anthropology, explores the role of hunting in human evolution. Researchers have long tried to locate the advantage that hunting, a dangerous and tiring activity, brings to men. Though some have argued that good hunters have longer-lasting ties to mates and better-fed offspring, other research suggests that hunting provides an opportunity to garner social attention and increase one's mating prospects, also known as the "showoff hypothesis."

A new study of the Hadza population in Tanzania, forthcoming in the April 2006 issue of Current Anthropology, explores the role of hunting in human evolution. Among chimpanzees and most human populations that subsist on wild resources, hunting is a predominantly male activity, and researchers have long tried to locate the advantage that hunting, a dangerous and tiring activity, brings to men. Though some have argued that good hunters have longer-lasting ties to mates and better-fed offspring, other research suggests that hunting provides an opportunity to garner social attention and increase one's mating prospects, also known as the "showoff hypothesis."

"When asked where they would like to reside, [Hadza] women preferred the camp of good hunters, where more food would be shared with their families," explains Brian M. Wood (a graduate student in biological anthropology at Harvard University). "The choice was not so clear for [Hadza] men: living with bad hunters would showcase their own hunting prowess. Living with good hunters, however, would bring more food to their family, at the cost of lowered relative hunting status."

In a similar study of the Ache hunter-gatherers in eastern Paraguay, also published in Current Anthropology, Wood revealed that a man without dependent offspring is more concerned about his individual prestige as a hunter, and would therefore rather reside among poorer hunters, while one with children, more concerned about access to food, prefers to be with better hunters. However, most participants in the Hadza study opted for a living situation that provided a better flow of nutrients to the household.

"A few joined the camp of bad hunters, where they could, as one [Hadza] man put it, "teach them how to hunt"," Wood says. "Most men, however, joined the camp of good hunters. We may still wonder whether it is better to play second string on a winning team, or to be the star of a losing team. For the Hadza at least, the spoils of the winning team seem to matter the most."

###

Sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Current Anthropology is a highly respected transnational journal devoted to research on humankind, encompassing the full range of anthropological scholarship on human cultures and on the human and other primate species. Communicating across the subfields, the journal features papers in a wide variety of areas, including social, cultural, and physical anthropology as well as ethnology and ethnohistory, archaeology and prehistory, folklore, and linguistics. For more information, please see our Web site: www.journals.uchicago.edu/CA.

Wood, Brian M. "Prestige or Provisioning: A test of foraging goals among the Hadza." Current Anthropology 47:2.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Joining The Hunt: New Study Investigates Role Of 'Showoff Hypothesis' In Social Decisions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060228175555.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2006, February 28). Joining The Hunt: New Study Investigates Role Of 'Showoff Hypothesis' In Social Decisions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060228175555.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Joining The Hunt: New Study Investigates Role Of 'Showoff Hypothesis' In Social Decisions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060228175555.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Where Did The World Trade Center Shipwreck Come From?

Where Did The World Trade Center Shipwreck Come From?

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Scientists say a ship remnant discovered underneath Ground Zero dates back to the 18th century. Why it sank is still uncertain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
London's Famed 'Gherkin' Goes on Sale for 650 Mln

London's Famed 'Gherkin' Goes on Sale for 650 Mln

AFP (July 29, 2014) London's "Gherkin" office tower, one of the landmarks on the British capital's skyline, went on sale for about 650 million ($1.1 billion, 820 million euros) on Tuesday after being placed into receivership. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins