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Feminists discover why women are shorter than men!

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  • #16
    The article was an ad for a documentary that was airing on Swedish TV last year.

    There was a follow up the following day basically saying that Swedish researchers dismissed it as BS:

    http://www.svt.se/nyheter/vetenskap/...olutionsbiolog

    New research findings on why women are shorter than men receive harsh criticism from Swedish researchers.

    Yesterday the world of science delivered the controversial film "Therefore, women are shorter than men." In the film, claiming anthropologists and gender theorists that power imbalance and discrimination underlies the height gap. According to several researchers, we unconsciously give boys more food than girls, which may cause the height difference between the sexes persist over generations.

    "Nonsense" according to evolutionary biologist


    But this is rather an ideological statement than science, according to evolutionary biologist Staffan Ulfstrand, Professor Emeritus at Uppsala University. He calls the theories "nonsense":

    'In all primates I know of are males larger than females, often much larger. Baboon, gorilla or chimpanzee females are smaller than males certainly not be because they are "oppressed". Males wins big size through increased competitiveness.'

    "Too stupid to believe it's true"

    Patrik Lindenfors, associate professor of ecology at Stockholm University, has studied the size difference between the sexes of apes and does not believe that the program's conclusion is correct:

    'That is so stupid that one cannot believe it's true. One cannot simply ignore the fact that in all great apes are males larger than females. We have it in our evolutionary history for many millions of years, even if human fossils suggest that the gender gap has decreased since our route was different from chimpanzees.'

    According to Patrik Lindenfors, 45 percent of all mammals measured the males larger than females, while the opposite is more common with larger females of eg insects.

    'This kind of size differences are common and well-studied and has completely logical explanations: males are larger in many mammals that compete for females. Females are larger in many insects because their eggs are so large in relation to the body', according to Patrik Lindenfors.

    Historians also critical

    Arne Jarrick is professor of history at Stockholm University, stresses that he is not an expert in the field, but is critical of what the program will be presented to:

    'I will be very suspicious of a generalized conclusion based on studies of bröstfödningskulturen(breast birthing culture?) in Burkina Fasu, which can not be assumed to be the same in other cultures.'

    The program tells of an anthropologist who observed how African women from Burkina Fasu continuously provided more breast milk to their boys.

    'Moreover, the difference in birth weight and length already existing between newborn girls and boys can hardly mean breastfeeding is the explanation for the difference in height between the sexes.'

    Nutrition affects height

    But nutrition can affect height according to historian Arne Jarrick. It has been an shown by economic history, including the study of soldiers. Economics Laureate Robert Fogel has also pointed out how more food in developed capitalist world has made people taller.

    Previous studies have also shown that the height of white men in the U.S. fell during the industrialization period from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

    'Chronic malnutrition affects the long run, sure, but it seems to be a stable constant across cultures and eras that males are taller than females. The evolutionary explanation for this, I have no idea', says Arne Jarrick.

    "Preposterous"

    'For humans, other primates and mammals in general, the so-called sexual dimorphism relatively persistent within a species', according to Birgitta Tullberg, a professor of zoology at the University of Stockholm, who with interest watched the film:

    'Although there were some interesting elements I have to say that the conclusions are not impressive. To explain the sexual dimorphism in such Western societies that we women do not get enough nutrition seems to me preposterous.'

    The film compares the large fang-like canines that males have in some apes with human man's relatively small canines. By comparison, the scientists want to participate in the film demonstrate that humans have not developed similar "weapons" and therefore are not subjected to the same competition for females that made other ape males taller and stronger than females.

    'In comparative studies based on the family tree, we have been able to show that the male's size increases, both absolutely and relative to the female, when competition for females is increasing. This pattern has been repeated for other animal groups, and the general interpretation is that males with larger muscle mass perform better in competition with other males, whether using teeth as a weapon or not. That human males would have ceased to compete physically on the ground that the canines become smaller was probably one of the least well-founded ideas in the film', says Birgitta Tullberg.

    Stick to older theories

    Evolutionary biologists have long explained the differences in the height of tall men have received benefits in the context of reproduction. For example, they by their size and strength have supplanted second, shorter men as they competed for the women's favor and that women simply prefer taller men. Or that long legs and strength can be good at hunting, traditionally man's job.

    These explanations are rejected in the film, but Staffan Ulfstrand is convinced that they are correct:

    'When you want to scare an enemy or attract an ally, it is very nice to be tall', he says.

    According to Staffan Ulfstrand it is tragic and cruel that women are oppressed by men in many cultures, and must by all means be corrected. But he does not believe that these measures will lead to the sexes being equal height-

    'It is interesting but of course ignored in this genius post that there are drastic differences between populations. A normal Swede is short compared to the Masai, but a giant in comparison with sanfolk or pygmy people of the rainforest. The reason would be perhaps worth pondering', says Staffan Ulfstrand.

    Women should be taller?

    The film tells it how it really should be the other way around, that women should be tallerand bigger as they give birth. In many developing countries, complications during childbirth are the most common cause of death among women. And those who suffer most are small-sized women with small pelvis, which in turn are more common where there is malnutrition.

    But evolutionary biologist Staffan Ulfstrand believes that an argument that "it should be the other way around" disagrees with this and questions the indirect assertion that just taller women would give birth more easily than short.

    Food discrimination possible

    According to ecologist Patrick Lindefors it is likely that the Food discrimination spoken of in the story exists in many parts of the world. But this discrimination can not cause the systematic size differences that we see in all humanity.

    'One should not forget that men also in the Western world are larger than females, although we have not had food shortage for real here since World War II. It is a surprisingly uninformed theory presented', said Patrik Lindefors.

    I hope this is enough to acquit the Swedish people of indiscriminate feminism.
    Last edited by GhostintheFog; 03-11-2014, 11:12 AM.

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    • #17
      Yes, but only just...haha.
      Did you leave it better than you found it?

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