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  1. Fitness costs of warfare for womenSugiyama, Michelle Scalise - Human Nature, 2014 - 1 Hypotheses

    This article offers an exploratory study of the fitness costs of warfare on women. The author examines stories of inter-group conflict cross-culturally and finds that warfare exerts significant selection pressure on women, such as killing or capturing women, or killing their offspring or mate. The author suggests that future research should examine female cognition in relation to these selective pressures.

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  2. Coalitional Play Fighting and the Evolution of Coalitional Intergroup AggressionSugiyama, Michelle Scalise - Human Nature, 2018 - 1 Hypotheses

    Researchers examined and coded motor skills used in coalitional play fighting in hunter-gatherer societies to investigate if it was a product of agriculture/industry, or occurred more broadly in non-agricultural populations. Sampling 100 societies from the Ethnographic Atlas, researchers found at least one predictor of such motor patterns showing coalitional play fighting amongst all hunter gatherer groups with information, and multiple predictors among most of the 46 groups. Researchers theorize this coalitional play fighting was training for intergroup aggression such as lethal raids.

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  3. Cross-cultural forager myth transmission rules: Implications for the emergence of cumulative cultureSugiyama, Michelle Scalise - Evolution and Human Behavior, 2023 - 5 Hypotheses

    The article discusses the challenge of storing and transmitting accumulated cultural knowledge over generations, particularly for forager societies, who use storytelling as a way to encode their knowledge. The authors hypothesize that myth-telling rules exist in these societies to ensure high-fidelity transmission of the stories, and predict that such rules mandate proficient storytellers, low-distraction conditions, multiple individuals and generations present, error prevention and correction, audience attention maintenance, discouragement of rule violations, and incentivization of rule compliance. The authors searched forager ethnographic records for descriptions of myth performance and coded them for these features. Results indicate that rules regulating myth performance are widespread across forager cultures and reduce the likelihood of copy errors. These findings suggest that anthropogenic ratchets played a role in the emergence of cumulative culture.

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