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Now, a larger / taller man may have been able to provide more protection, have greater genetic qualities to pass on to their future children (or look like he does), and even be awarded with a better social status. But we can't talk only in biological terms, because we are (also, or mainly) cultural beings.

ThisThe previous seems valid and proven for hominids, but what about modern Homo Sapiens?

The moment we start talking about culture, these extrapolations become extremely complex, and our current tools not good enough to deepen them. While some biological pressure might still exist, what was once considered a good mate has drifted to a whole new set of characteristics. Being protective can now mean having resources, having money or being a position of power.

In order to optimize their inclusive fitness, women may look for a man who is relatively older (and has thus had more time to accrue material and political wealth) and of high social status. It should be noted that these preferences are not always at the conscious level, but are theorized to have been ingrained into the human psyche as innate responses through the process of evolution.

Braun & Bryan, 2006

Now, a larger / taller man may have been able to provide more protection, have greater genetic qualities to pass on to their future children (or look like he does), and even be awarded with a better social status. But we can't talk only in biological terms, because we are (also, or mainly) cultural beings.

This seems valid and proven for hominids, but what about modern Homo Sapiens?

The moment we start talking about culture, these extrapolations become extremely complex, and our current tools not good enough to deepen them. While some biological pressure might still exist, what was once considered a good mate has drifted to a whole new set of characteristics. Being protective can now mean having resources, having money or being a position of power.

Now, a larger / taller man may have been able to provide more protection, have greater genetic qualities to pass on to their future children (or look like he does), and even be awarded with a better social status. But we can't talk only in biological terms, because we are (also, or mainly) cultural beings. The previous seems valid and proven for hominids, but what about modern Homo Sapiens?

The moment we start talking about culture, these extrapolations become extremely complex, and our current tools not good enough to deepen them. While some biological pressure might still exist, what was once considered a good mate has drifted to a whole new set of characteristics. Being protective can now mean having resources, having money or being a position of power.

In order to optimize their inclusive fitness, women may look for a man who is relatively older (and has thus had more time to accrue material and political wealth) and of high social status. It should be noted that these preferences are not always at the conscious level, but are theorized to have been ingrained into the human psyche as innate responses through the process of evolution.

Braun & Bryan, 2006

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Now, a larger / taller man may have been able to provide more protection, have greater genetic qualities to pass on to their future children (or look like he does), and even be awarded with a better social status. But we can't talk only in biological terms, because we are (also, or mainly) cultural beings. We can look back into the history of our species

This seems valid and seeproven for hominids, but what traitsabout modern Homo Sapiens?

Through studying group structure and complex social relationships, we've learned that human ancestors may have acted similar to primates -- grooming and all

Nakamura, 2003

Nowadays, male protection can mean having resources, having money or being a position of power. Societal expectations canWe can't be as strongabsolutely certain on how these behaviours have changed during our evolution as biological onesa species, so protective or strong doesn't mean the same now or 50.000 years agobut we do know culture and language have played a major role in how things developed.

Culture mediates our relationships with other people, with the environment, with spirits and deities, and with abstract or imagined worlds like mathematics and the future. Culture provides the context for language, without which our ability to think would be grossly constrained (however often we find ourselves at a loss for words), and it makes possible our endlessly diverse modes of social cooperation and conflict. Culture encompasses much of what makes us distinctively human.

Source

The general consensusThere is a consensus that yesthrough evolution, therefemale hominids seem to have sexually selected stronger males as mates. There is also a 'selection' basedconsensus that primate behaviour studies can shed some light not only on many traitshow our ancestors lived, one of them being protection. But justbut also on our species as thereit is a selection based on certain physical characteristics, historical reasonsnow.

The moment we start talking about culture, traditionthese extrapolations become extremely complex, religionand our current tools not good enough to deepen them. While some biological pressure might still exist, careerwhat was once considered a good mate has drifted to a whole new set of characteristics. Being protective can now mean having resources, etchaving money or being a position of power.

Some interesting references:

Now, a larger / taller man may have been able to provide more protection, have greater genetic qualities to pass on to their future children (or look like he does), and even be awarded with a better social status. But we can't talk only in biological terms, because we are (also, or mainly) cultural beings. We can look back into the history of our species and see what traits

Nowadays, male protection can mean having resources, having money or being a position of power. Societal expectations can be as strong as biological ones, so protective or strong doesn't mean the same now or 50.000 years ago.

The general consensus is that yes, there is a 'selection' based on many traits, one of them being protection. But just as there is a selection based on certain physical characteristics, historical reasons, tradition, religion, career, etc.

Some interesting references:

Now, a larger / taller man may have been able to provide more protection, have greater genetic qualities to pass on to their future children (or look like he does), and even be awarded with a better social status. But we can't talk only in biological terms, because we are (also, or mainly) cultural beings.

This seems valid and proven for hominids, but what about modern Homo Sapiens?

Through studying group structure and complex social relationships, we've learned that human ancestors may have acted similar to primates -- grooming and all

Nakamura, 2003

We can't be absolutely certain on how these behaviours have changed during our evolution as a species, but we do know culture and language have played a major role in how things developed.

Culture mediates our relationships with other people, with the environment, with spirits and deities, and with abstract or imagined worlds like mathematics and the future. Culture provides the context for language, without which our ability to think would be grossly constrained (however often we find ourselves at a loss for words), and it makes possible our endlessly diverse modes of social cooperation and conflict. Culture encompasses much of what makes us distinctively human.

Source

There is a consensus that through evolution, female hominids seem to have sexually selected stronger males as mates. There is also a consensus that primate behaviour studies can shed some light not only on how our ancestors lived, but also on our species as it is now.

The moment we start talking about culture, these extrapolations become extremely complex, and our current tools not good enough to deepen them. While some biological pressure might still exist, what was once considered a good mate has drifted to a whole new set of characteristics. Being protective can now mean having resources, having money or being a position of power.

Some references:

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African hominoids, including chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), and humans (Homo sapiens; Gagneux et al., 1999), share a number of parenting mechanisms with other placental mammals, including internal gestation, lactation, and attachment mechanisms involving neuropeptides such as oxytocin.

Geary et al., 2001

Early hominids combined hunting and scavenging, and used mostly scavenging because they were competing with large predators (this article by Mark Fox expands on the subject).

Scavenging Scavenging is something a female hominid can potentially do while carrying an infant, while hunting would be technically impossible until the baby has grown up. This doesn't mean males went hunting and females stayed in a cave feeding their babies 24/7, it just means a more balanced distribution of tasks would mean more chances of infants living up to adulthood and reproducing.

A lot of factors played in this subtle 'evolution' of families and groups. Yes, strongCharles Darwin (1871) was the first to propose that competition for mates plays an important role in reproductive success (he called this process sexual selection). Stronger males have a clear advantagean 'advantage': they can protect their group and offspring against other groups and against predators (a good research on the subject is Melissa McDonald's Evolution and the psychology of intergroup conflict: the male warrior hypothesis). Add language and culture, and you have stronger bonds between individuals, and relationships that 'last longer', so to saymore effectively.

Intergroup conflict is undeniably pervasive across human societies (...) There are reliable accounts of intergroup conflict in past hunter–gatherer societies—usually via raiding and ambushing—killing substantial numbers of people.

This is where it gets complicated.McDonald et al., 2012

ANow, a larger / taller man may have been able to provide more protection, have greater genetic qualities to pass on to their future children (or look like he does) to pass on to their future children, and even be awarded with a better social status. But we can't talk only in biological terms, because we are (also, or mainly) cultural beings. We can look back into the history of our species and see what traits

As with everything, theThe general consensus is that yes, there is a 'selection' based on many traits, one of them being protection. But just as there is a selection based on certain physical characteristics, historical reasons, tradition, religion, career, etc.

Early hominids combined hunting and scavenging, and used mostly scavenging because they were competing with large predators (this article by Mark Fox expands on the subject).

Scavenging is something a female hominid can potentially do while carrying an infant, while hunting would be technically impossible until the baby has grown up. This doesn't mean males went hunting and females stayed in a cave feeding their babies 24/7, it just means a more balanced distribution of tasks would mean more chances of infants living up to adulthood and reproducing.

A lot of factors played in this subtle 'evolution' of families and groups. Yes, strong males have a clear advantage: they can protect their group and offspring against other groups and against predators (a good research on the subject is Melissa McDonald's Evolution and the psychology of intergroup conflict: the male warrior hypothesis). Add language and culture, and you have stronger bonds between individuals, and relationships that 'last longer', so to say.

This is where it gets complicated.

A larger / taller man may have been able to provide more protection, have greater genetic qualities (or look like he does) to pass on to their future children, and even be awarded with a better social status. But we can't talk in biological terms, because we are (also) cultural beings.

As with everything, the general consensus is that yes, there is a 'selection' based on many traits, one of them being protection. But just as there is a selection based on certain physical characteristics, historical reasons, tradition, religion, career, etc.

African hominoids, including chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), and humans (Homo sapiens; Gagneux et al., 1999), share a number of parenting mechanisms with other placental mammals, including internal gestation, lactation, and attachment mechanisms involving neuropeptides such as oxytocin.

Geary et al., 2001

Early hominids combined hunting and scavenging, and used mostly scavenging because they were competing with large predators (this article by Mark Fox expands on the subject). Scavenging is something a female hominid can potentially do while carrying an infant, while hunting would be technically impossible until the baby has grown up. This doesn't mean males went hunting and females stayed in a cave feeding their babies 24/7, it just means a more balanced distribution of tasks would mean more chances of infants living up to adulthood and reproducing.

A lot of factors played in this subtle 'evolution' of families and groups. Charles Darwin (1871) was the first to propose that competition for mates plays an important role in reproductive success (he called this process sexual selection). Stronger males have an 'advantage': they can protect their group and offspring against other groups and against predators more effectively.

Intergroup conflict is undeniably pervasive across human societies (...) There are reliable accounts of intergroup conflict in past hunter–gatherer societies—usually via raiding and ambushing—killing substantial numbers of people.

McDonald et al., 2012

Now, a larger / taller man may have been able to provide more protection, have greater genetic qualities to pass on to their future children (or look like he does), and even be awarded with a better social status. But we can't talk only in biological terms, because we are (also, or mainly) cultural beings. We can look back into the history of our species and see what traits

The general consensus is that yes, there is a 'selection' based on many traits, one of them being protection. But just as there is a selection based on certain physical characteristics, historical reasons, tradition, religion, career, etc.

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