When ancient societies began to need a village to raise a child

New research by a University of Utah anthropologist explains how and why mothers in ancient societies formed cooperative groups to help raise their children. Karen Kramer, an associate professor of anthropology, published a study in the Journal of Human Evolution titled, “When Mothers Need Others: Life History Transitions Associated with the Evolution of Cooperative Breeding.”

Her research examines how mothers underwent a remarkable transition from the past—when they had one dependent offspring at a time, ended support of their young at weaning and received no help from others—to the present when mothers often have multiple kids who help rear other children. “We simulated an economic problem that would have arisen over the course of human evolution—as mothers became more successful at producing children, they also had more dependents than they could care for on their own,” said Kramer of her research.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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