Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Neandertals were a naughty bunch?

Well, again, John Hawks doesn't think so.  He has some rather sharp comments about a silly headline on the BBC, and some sober research about digit ratios in men, that are supposed to imply something about mating habits.  The BBC seems to think (a) either Neandertals just kind of randomly mated, or else the "guys"(the brutes!) kept harems of women.  Hawks didn't say anything about this, but in a "generalized forager" type society such as was probably likely among Neandertals, I don't think either mating strategy would have been very practical.  It isn't generally the case among known, historical foraging people.  Also, as Hawks points out, certain finger ratios in men are supposedly associated with being gay.  As he also points out, the headline could have been something like "Neandertals were gay!!!!"  Yikes.  Though to be fair, and I'm following Hawks here, this silliness isn't the original researcher's fault.  Now I'm wondering:  what gets into some "science reporters", when it comes to Neandertals?

Anne G

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