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Primitive Behavior – The ConsumHERist

Posted on | August 20, 2009 | No Comments

by Delia Passi

CavewomanI’ve always been intrigued by prehistoric discoveries and how they can give us insight into the evolution of modern behaviors.  I subscribe to the belief that men’s and women’s basic behavioral tendencies evolved long ago and have not had enough time to evolve away from those primitive instincts that formed hundreds of thousands of years ago.  If we only came out of the caves 10,000 or so years ago, there simply hasn’t been enough time to change the genetic blueprint that took millions of years to develop.

And from an evolutionary standpoint, gender roles have only begun to change.  My mother grew up in a society that frowned on women being independent and self-sufficient.  I don’t think my own perspectives on gender roles are the result of genetic mutation. They are just adaptations to the opportunities presented by technological innovations.

An article on this week caught my eye and got me to thinking about primitive gender roles some more.  The article discussed what could be learned by examining the leftovers, bones from primitive dinners, found in a cave in Israel.  The recently discovered cave was supposedly occupied from 400,000 to 200,000 years ago.  An anthropologist speculated on how the tool marks on the bones revealed the sophistication, or lack of sophistication, of the humans who made the marks.

My thoughts went another way.  I began to wonder about the gender roles that played out in this cave.  Were the women responsible for the butchering of the kill?  But more intriguingly I wondered about the evolution of housekeeping practices.  Who, if anyone, was responsible for taking the bones out of the cave?  Surely there weren’t 200,000 years worth of bones still lying around the cave, so maybe this was the last meal taken in that particular cave and the slobs just didn’t care to clean up that one last time.

Of course it could have been a bachelor cave.  There was no mention of primitive drawings of their favorite cavewomen.

Does this have anything to do with selling to women?  Perhaps not very directly, but it is important when thinking about any consumer behavior, just as it is important when thinking about primitive behavior, to realize that women are just as much a part of the picture as men are and deserve equal if not more consideration.

Delia Passi, Founder of WomenCertified® and author of Winning the Toughest Customer: The Essential Guide to Selling to Women is a regular columnist on ReachingWomenDaily.  Delia can be reached at


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