How our Behaviour evolved
Origins of Us - Guts
We evolved as hunter-gatherers, living on similar foods to the Hadza. Finding food shapes their society, but it has affected all of us.It seems that the Hadza, and presumably our ancestors too, found a very efficient and effective way of surviving. Men and women each have different and distinctive roles, so the women go digging for tubers and collecting berries, whilst the men go out hunting for meat and honey. What they hunt or gather, they share, so it makes sense to pair up.
Having a partner to share food with is a massive advantage in a harsh environment, and many Hadza men and women marry for life. Sharing food like this is thought to be the origin of pairing up and staying together.
For a Hadza woman it is critical for her to choose a hard-working able hunter for her family to survive. And women's preference for good hunters is thought to have shaped the way men behave, wherever they live.
Even when there's nothing to hunt. men can still find ways to show-off their prowess to women. The latest research shows that men are in some way hard-wired to show potential partners they've got what it takes. And they do it by taking risks. They begin by observing young men taking risks at a skateboard park and then introduce some attractive young women to see how the behaviour changes. In the presence of female observers, the men seem to be gambling more.
Showing off one's Prowess
In fact, the original research showed risk-taking almost doubled when an attractive woman was present. And that, it seems, comes down to testosterone Scientists have found that having women around increases the skateboarder's levels of testosterone by up to 40%, forcing the men to display their potential for the modern day version of a good hunter. Men showing off to women by taking risks could be a throwback to the food gathering strategies of our ancestors. By taking risks, men are signalling that they're likely to be good providers and therefore better mates. So it seems that men have an excuse for behaving the way they do. They're designed to be show-offs.