Sexual Competition Among Women

I am putting this article here to save it to a convenient location, and also because it discusses topics of ordinary, social interest: for example, the way in which, compared with men, women spend a lot more time and resources on personal presentation to help in competition for mates.

Sexual Competition Among Women: A Review of the Theory and Supporting Evidence

by Steven Arnocky and Tracy Vaillancourt.

At a glance, the article looks pretty good. But I notice it repeats the argument that human males and females are less sexually dimorphic than ancestral primates. While it is true that men are only about 15% larger than women (according to this article), the relative equality in bulk hides the fact that men are far more muscular and women have far more fat than men.

On male vs female strength:

“The sex difference in upper-body muscle mass in humans is
similar in magnitude to the sex difference in lean body mass
in gorillas, the most sexually dimorphic primate.”

“Despite claims of reduced levels of sexual dimorphism in
the genus Homo (e.g., compared to Australopithecus)
(McHenry, 1994; Plavcan, 2001), muscle mass and resulting
muscular strength are very sexually dimorphic traits in
contemporary humans. On average, men have approximately
61% more total muscle mass than women …”

Another point to be drawn from this article is that only 1 in 1,000 women reaches the mean upper body strength of men: which no doubt explains why wives famously ask their husbands to open jars for them.



3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by fuzziewuzziebear on July 29, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I wonder what proud feminists do? Do they knock on the door of their male neighbor looking flustered? All they wanted were a couple of pickle slices for their sandwich.

    I had no idea we were that dimorphic. Nature is stealthy. No wonder the female Olympic soccer team lost to fifteen year old boys.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on July 30, 2017 at 6:18 am

      We recently had a young woman umpire a game of Australian Football, an important game of a major sport here in Australia. She was found to be unable to bounce the ball at the start of each passage of play. This requires thumping the ball into the ground quite hard to make it bounce high. It’s a feature of the game. She ended up having to toss it in the air (which is usually only done when the ground is too wet.) There were excuses offered, but I expect we won’t see that experiment again. At least, I hope not. Anything is possible these days.

      Her basic problem was probably lack of upper body strength.


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