Frank Marlowe


Frank Marlowe and Hadza children

Behavioral ecology, parental care, mate preferences, mating systems, cooperation, hunter-gatherers.


My research focuses on the behavioral ecology of human societies, especially foraging societies. Since 1995 I have been working with the Hadza of Tanzania, who are hunter-gatherers.

My current NSF-funded project “Foraging, Food-Sharing, and Family Formation among the Hadza” is focused on the question of whether women gain an economic benefit from marriage. To answer this question, foragers are followed to record their energetic expenditure, food acquisition, consumption, and food sharing in and out of camp.

I am looking for graduate students to collect data for this project in the process of conducting their own dissertation research and have funds to support such graduate students who go to the field.

Graduate Students > > >

Recent Publications

(Click here for complete vita.)

Journal articles:

Marlowe, F.W. and Yang, A. The sharing game in Two Societies.

Wilkins, J.F., Marlowe, F.W. 2006.  Sex-biased migration in humans: What should we expect from genetic data?  BioEssays 28:290-300.

Henrich, J., Boyd, R., Bowles, S., Camerer, C., Fehr, E., Gintis, H., McElreath, R., Alvard, M., Barr, A., Ensminger, J., Hill, K., Gil-White, F., Gurven, M., Marlowe, F., Patton, J., Smith, N., Tracer, D. 2005. ‘Economic man' in cross-cultural perspective: Behavioral experiments in 15 small-scale societies. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28:795-855.

Marlowe, F.W., Apicella, C.L. and Reed, D. 2005. Men’s Preferences for Women’s Profile Waist-Hip-Ratio in Two Societies. Evolution and Human Behavior 26:458-468.

Marlowe, F.W. 2005. Hunter-gatherers and human evolution. Evolutionary Anthropology 14(2): 54-67.

Marlowe, F.W. 2005. Mate preferences among Hadza hunter-gatherers. Human Nature 15:364-375

Marlowe, F.W. 2004. What explains Hadza food sharing? Research in Economic Anthropology 23:69-88.

Apicella, C.L. and Marlowe, F.W. 2004. Perceived mate fidelity and paternal resemblance predict men's investment in children. Evolution and Human Behavior 25:371-378 .

Marlowe, F.W. 2004. Is human ovulation concealed? Evidence from conception beliefs in a hunter-gatherer society: the Hadza of Tanzania. Archives of Sexual Behavior 33:427-432

Gray, P.B., Campbell, B.C., Marlowe, F.W., Lipson, S.F., Ellison, P.T. 2004. Social variables predict between- but not within-subject testosterone variation in a sample of U.S. men. Psychoneuroendocrinology 29:1153-1162 .

Marlowe, F.W. 2004. Marital residence among foragers. Current Anthropology 45:277-284.

Marlowe, F.W. 2003. The Mating System of Foragers in the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample. Cross-Cultural Research 37:282-306.

Marlowe, F.W. 2003. A critical period for provisioning by Hadza men: Implications for pair bonding. Evolution and Human Behavior 24(3):217-229.

Gray, P. and Marlowe, F. 2002. Fluctuating asymmetry of a foraging population: The Hadza of Tanzania. Annals of Human Biology 29(5):495-501 .

Blurton Jones, N.G. and Marlowe, F.W. 2002. Selection for delayed maturity: Does it take 20 years to learn to hunt and gather? Human Nature 13(2):199-238.

Marlowe, F. 2001. Male contribution to diet and female reproductive success among foragers. Current Anthropology 42:755-760 .

Marlowe, F. and Wetsman, A. 2001. Preferred waist-to-hip ratio and ecology. Personality and Individual Differences 30(3):481-489.

Marlowe, F. 2000. Paternal investment and the human mating system. Behavioural Processes 51:45-61 .

Marlowe, F. 2000. The patriarch hypothesis: An alternative explanation of menopause. Human Nature 11:27-42.

Marlowe, F. 1999. Showoffs or providers?: The parenting effort of Hadza men. Evolution and Human Behavior 20 (6):391-404.

Wetsman, A. and Marlowe, F. 1999. How universal are preferences for female waist-to-hip ratios? Evidence from the Hadza of Tanzania. Evolution and Human Behavior 20 (4):219-228.

Marlowe, F. 1999. Male care and mating effort among Hadza foragers. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 46:57-64.

Marlowe, F. 1998. The nubility hypothesis: The human breast as an honest signal of residual reproductive value. Human Nature 9 (3):263-271.


Book chapters:

Marlowe, F.W. 2005. Who tends Hadza children? In B. Hewlett and M. Lamb (Eds.) Hunter-Gatherer Childhoods: Evolutionary, Developmental and Cultural Perspectives. New Brunswick: Transaction, pp 177-190.

Marlowe, F.W. 2004. Dictators and ultimatums in an egalitarian society of hunter-gatherers, the Hadza of Tanzania. In J. Henrich, R. Boyd, S. Bowles, H. Gintis, C. Camerer and E. Fehr (Eds.) Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence from Fifteen Small-Scale Societies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 168-193.

Marlowe, F. 2002. Why the Hadza are still hunter-gatherers. In S. Kent (Ed.) Ethnicity, Hunter-gatherers, and the “Other”: Association or Assimilation in Africa . Washington D.C. : Smithsonian Institution Press, pp 247-275.

Blurton Jones, N.G., Marlowe, F.W., Hawkes, K. and O'Connell, J.F. 2000. Paternal investment and hunter-gatherer divorce rates. In L. Cronk, N. Chagnon and W. Irons (Eds.) Adaptation and Human Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective . New York : Aldine de Gruyter, pp 69-90.


Courses (Click links for course descriptions.)

Anthropology 114 – The Evolution of Human Sexuality (research seminar)

Anthropology 137 – Evolution and Human Behavior

Anthropology 131 -- Hunter-Gatherers

Anthropology 134 -- Race and Racism in Evolutionary Perspective

Anthropology 219 – Cross-Cultural Evolutionary Analysis

Anthropology 229 – Behavioral Ecology Seminar

Anthropology 284 – Human Parenting and Mating Strategies (with Cheryl Knott)



Harvard University
Peabody Museum 26
11 Divinity Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
tel. (617) 495-1870
fax (617) 496-8041
E-mail Frank Marlowe