Grandmothers and Human Evolution

Kristen Hawkes

Membership Lecture, The New Mexico History Museum Auditorium

Thursday, February 19, 2015, 6:30–7:30 pm, Free for SAR members • $10 for nonmembers

Grandmother carrying child in Borana, EthiopiaGrandmother carrying child in Borana, EthiopiaBy United Nations (Ray Witlin) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.Grandmother carrying child in Borana, EthiopiaBy United Nations (Ray Witlin) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Consider the hypothesis that increased longevity is a key to the evolution of human life history and other features that distinguish us from the great apes. The Grandmother Hypothesis implies novel challenges for ancestral mothers and infants that favored the evolution of the distinctly human preferences for joint attention that underpin our cultural lives. Anthropologist Kristen Hawkes explores the connections that link our grandmothering life history to men’s status competition, which propels so much in human affairs, including the economic productivity that is a hallmark of our lineage.



Sponsored by Joan Donner

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