Why Men Hunt and Women Gather for Recreation? An Evolutionary Perspective

Menelaos Apostolou, Marios Shialos

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    People, predominantly men, spend considerable resources in engaging in hunting animals for sport. Such activity is puzzling, as men take risk and sacrifice valuable resources in killing animals, the meat of which they do not need for their subsistence. Toward solving this puzzle, an evolutionary framework was proposed, where the division of labor in ancestral human societies has resulted in men and women having evolved different mechanisms that motivate them to engage in different activities. On the basis of this framework, two hypotheses were derived. First, on average, men would tend to find hunting an enjoyable activity, while women would tend to find gathering an enjoyable activity. Second, on average, men would be willing to engage in hunting, and women would be willing to engage in gathering. Evidence from two independent studies found strong support for both hypotheses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8-16
    Number of pages9
    JournalEvolutionary Psychological Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


    • Evolutionary recreational studies
    • Fishing
    • Gathering
    • Hunting


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