Endicott, Karen Lampell. 1981. “The Conditions of Egalitarian Male-Female Relationships in Foraging Societies.” Canberra Anthropology 4(2): 1-10
Some anthropologists have maintained that all societies are, to a greater or lesser extent, dominated by men, with women fulfilling subordinate roles. One writer argued that sexual asymmetry predominates in hunter/gatherer societies because men are the hunters and the meat they provide is the most favored food. Endicott refutes these arguments based on her research work with the Batek and the literature about other societies. Among the Batek, men and women form nuclear families as equals, and a couple makes all decisions jointly—though one or the other may be more vocal. The Batek do not always favor meat as the preferred food—they will eat fruit, when it is in season, instead of everything else, including meat. Endicott concludes that men dominate women in many societies because they have established structures of male authority.
We appreciate the permission to copy this article for the Peaceful Societies Website granted by both Ms. Endicott and by the Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, the successor to Canberra Anthropology. The article, in PDF format, is 34.5 KB in size.