May 20, 2011

Height = More Power / More Play

Thanks to my friend Martin for turning me onto this interesting article from Science Daily.  Research by University of Utah's Dave Carrier suggests the reason human beings have evolved from quadrupeds to bipedal creatures is the mechanical leverage gained when striking an opponent.  He also proposes that a secondary attribute to being tall is female selection.  Fact is every woman I have ever dated has been attracted to my height (6'4"), and many women list height as one of their top 2-3 turn on's when looking for mates.  

"The results of this study are consistent with the hypothesis that our ancestors adopted bipedal posture so that males would be better at beating and killing each other when competing for females," says David Carrier, a biology professor who conducted the study. "Standing up on their hind legs allowed our ancestors to fight with the strength of their forelimbs, making punching much more dangerous."
"It also provides a functional explanation for why women find tall men attractive," Carrier adds. "Early in human evolution, an enhanced capacity to strike downward on an opponent may have given tall males a greater capacity to compete for mates and to defend their resources and offspring. If this were true, females who chose to mate with tall males would have had greater fitness for survival."

"From the perspective of sexual selection theory, women are attracted to powerful males, not because powerful males can beat them up, but because powerful males can protect them and their children from other males," Carrier says.
"In a world of automatic weapons and guided missiles, male physical strength has little relevance to most conflicts between males," he adds. "But guns have been common weapons for less than 15 human generations. So maybe we shouldn't be surprised that modern females are still attracted to physical traits that predict how their mates would fare in a fight."

Those last two quotes are quite telling on many different levels.  

My teacher Tim Cartmell has been saying the exact same thing for years.  We both use analogies regarding natural movement and natural reactions drawn from our ape ancestors.  Watch two children or untrained women fight... 

Food for thought on a gorgeous weekend!

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