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"In all human societies, individuals differ in social status depending upon their age and personal ability (Sahlins, 1958; Service, 1971). In laboratory-based small group studies, status hierarchies emerge spontaneously (Bass, 1954; Campbell et al., 2002; Kalma, 1991). Even among “egalitarian” foragers, who are characterized by widespread resource sharing (Kaplan & Gurven, 2005; Winterhalder, 1986) and some degree of status-leveling (Cashdan, 1980), certain individuals consume more resources, get the best pick of mates, and take a more central role in group decision-making (Boehm, 1999; Trigger, 1985; Wiessner, 1996). Whether implicit or overt, classification by social status is a human universal. While women as well as men compete for status (Campbell, 2002; Hess & Hagen, 2006; Hrdy, 1999; Rucas et al., 2006), this paper focuses exclusively on male status hierarchies."


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Evolution and Human Behavior. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Evolution and Human Behavior, volume 29, issue 6, in 2008.

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