Physical Activity and Time Budgets of Hadza Forager Children: Implications for Self-Provisioning and the Ontogeny of the Sexual Division of Labor

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Objectives: To determine the effects of age and sex on physical activity and time budgets of Hadza children and juveniles, 5-14 years old, including both in-camp and out-of-camp activities. Methods: Behavioral data were derived from ~15 000 hourly in-camp scan observations of 76 individuals and 13 out-of-camp focal follows on nine individuals. The data were used to estimate energy expended and percentage of time engaged in a variety of routine activities, including food collection, childcare, making and repairing tools, and household maintenance. Results: Our results suggest that (1) older children spend more time in economic activities; (2) females spend more time engaged in work-related and economic activities in camp, whereas males spend more time engaged in economic activities out of camp; and (3) foraging by both sexes tends to net caloric gains despite being energetically costly. Conclusions: These results show that, among the Hadza, a sexual division of labor begins to emerge in middle childhood and is well in place by adolescence. Furthermore, foraging tends to provide net caloric gains, suggesting that children are capable of reducing at least some of the energetic burden they place upon their parents or alloparents. The findings are relevant to our understanding of the ways in which young foragers allocate their time, the development of sex-specific behavior patterns, and the capacity of children's work efforts to offset the cost of their own care in a cooperative breeding environment.