Today's reading from Dr. David Buss’s book, Evolutionary Psychology, is on the topic of dudes who show off. Where does this come from? Buss explains why this (sometimes super obnoxious to other, perhaps less secure bros) phenomenon may have come to be, and how “the show-off hypothesis” has concrete supporting evidence from nomadic hunter/gatherers still in existence today.
An anthropologist named Kristen Hawkes proposed this hypothesis in 1991 and:
“[Hawkes] suggests that women would prefer to have neighbors who are show-offs--men who go for the rare but valuable bonanza of meat--because they benefit by gaining a portion of it.”
The showoff may risk losing big, but it has been found in hunting/gathering cultures around the world (the Ache of Paraguay, the Hazda of the East African savanna, the !Kung of Botswana and Namibia, the Lamalera of the Indonesian island of Lembata, and the Meriam of Australia) that these guys aren't all that bad; that in general they share the abundance that they rake in in abnormally high proportions.
Because they take major risks, showoffs often fail. But, because they share what they get when they win big (the takedown of a huge animal for food, for example), they are valued within the society, become the subject of legend (bro, remember that one time homeboy killed that bison), and are favored sexually by females. “My girlfriend cheated on me with that dude, but he does always take everybody out to TGI Friday’s so I’m like kinda okay with it.”
So uh... yeah,