Sex differences in Hadza dental wear patterns : a preliminary report.Hum Nat 2012; 23(3):270-82HN
Among hunter-gatherers, the sharing of male and female foods is often assumed to result in virtually the same diet for males and females. Although food sharing is widespread among the hunting and gathering Hadza of Tanzania, women were observed eating significantly more tubers than men. This study investigates the relationship between patterns of dental wear, diet, and extramasticatory use of teeth among the Hadza. Casts of the upper dentitions were made from molds taken from 126 adults and scored according to the Murphy dental attrition scoring system. Females had significantly greater anterior occlusal wear than males when we controlled for age. Males exhibited greater asymmetry in wear, with greater wear on the left side in canines, first premolars, and first molars. We suggest that these sex differences in wear patterns reflect the differences seen in the diet, as well as in the use of teeth as tools.