In the 1960s, anthropologists developed a “Man the Hunter” theory of human social evolution that just happened to mirror Western ideas about family structures and division of labor that were prevalent at the time. In this theory, survival of the group depended on large hunts by cooperating groups of men, with women taking the job of processing the meat, hide, and bones into food, clothing, and other necessities. Now new research, carried out largely by women scientists, strongly suggests a very different picture – one in which women gathered most of the food eaten by early hunter-gatherer people. And once women had children, the person who brought in the most food of all was . . . Grandmother.
That’s right: a whole group of different researchers in several different fields is uncovering strong evidence of something many of us have experienced in our own lives: that it’s often women who reliably support and feed their children, and that grandmothers have a particularly important role in ensuring the survival and well-being of the youngest generation. Researchers even think this pattern may have played a key role in human evolution! You can read more about this research in “Why Grandmothers May Hold The Key To Human Evolution,” an article by John Poole on the NPR website. And if you’re a mother or grandmother who contributes major support to the care and well-being of your child or grandchild, know you are in proud company.
Remember to make provisions to continue that care if something happens to you. Preparing a will and other documents that protect those who depend on you is easy and low-hassle. Contact me to learn more.