Anatomical and Physiological Bases of Human Division of Labor by Sex

Some of you know me as a retired Ob/Gyn. Some of you know me as a photographer. And a few of you know me as anthropologist. I have and have had other roles, of course, but these are the areas in which I have had formal training.

This post is about anthropology. I hold a BA from the University of Oklahoma, and an MA and PhD from the University of Arizona. I did a year of graduate work at the University of Chicago on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship.

After completing my PhD, I taught for 5 years at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. During that time, I became interested in understanding how the human division of labor by sex developed. How is it that males came to have greater access to scarce and valued resources, unlike other mammals, where females provide for themselves on an equal basis with males?

Two peer-reviewed opinion pieces came out of my thinking and reading and processing ideas about this, both published in the American Anthropologist. The first deals with unique human anatomy as it evolved over time, the second with relevant physiology.

Click on the links to view the papers in pdf format.

Biology and Human Social Behavior: a Response to van den Berghe and Barash
American Anthropologist, Volume 81, Number 2, June 1979, pp 357-360.

Running and Menstrual Dysfunction: Recent Medical Discoveries Provide New Insights into the Human Division of Labor by Sex
American Anthropologist, Volume 87, Number 4, December 1985, pp 878-882

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