Agent Based Modelling on the origins of the sexual division of labour


Social differences between men and women are still an object of debate among several areas of knowledge. These differences are the result of a long historical process that led to the establishment of the sexual division of labour as we know it, although we do not know the original cicumstances and steps that initially originated it.

In order to throw light on this, we are focusing on hunter-gather societies; ethnographic and historical documentation about these human societies points to sexually differentiated cooperative strategies.

This paper presents the first theoretical and methodological results of a research project that aims at evaluating the role of the variables that could have been involved in the original design of the sexual division of labour, and its subsequent ‘institutionalization’ as a social rule. Social simulation, as a kind of virtual laboratory, allows to generate an "ad-hoc" scenario and a set of agents in order to explore a question like this. By means of artificial intelligence, diferente starting scenarios will be created, considering either specific intentional direction coming from each sex in order to shape the sexual division of labour.

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Cite this Record

Agent Based Modelling on the origins of the sexual division of labour. Francisco J. Miguel Quesada, Eduardo Tapia, Débora Zurro, Jorge Caro. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398000)

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