Question on evolution of gender roles

Caretakr (
14 Jan 1997 18:31:15 GMT

I am writing a novel in which one of the main characters has a
theory on the evolution of gender roles. The premise of this theory
centers around idea that gender roles changed when prehistoric humans
became 'conscious' of the relation between intercourse and birth, the idea
being that the mechanics of procreation became 'political' and charged
with the instinctual drives of reproduction in a cultural sense.
This character goes on to assume that females were generally
aware of this connection first and used this knowledge to create a
matriarchial shift from hunting and gathering to an agrarian based culture
centered around goddess worship. As males incorperated the knowledge that
they were vital to reproduction but in a limited sense, they applied the
aggression of the sexual drive to cultual means to overturn this
matriarchy in the attempt to contol the process.
In terms of anthropological theory, what evidence is there to
support or debunk the general drift of this type of thinking? Is this out
in left field or is this typical of the status quo?