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East Eurasian masculinities as results of cultural selection mechanisms

ren
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ren
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 3:35 am

April 10th, 2008, 12:04 am #1

Jhangora wrote: And what about the wimpy/metrosexual look.Any light thrown on that aspect of beauty in East Asia.

Even while I grew up in America, I preferred that look in males until relatively recently (I'm heterosexual male.).

The lack of appreciation for sexual dimorphism could be because of the lack of sexual dimorphism in "Mongoloids", which begins on the skeletal level, and would rather be determined by genetics. Siberians and northern Native American females are overly masculine, lacking differentiation skeletally (including facial skeleton) with males, while the males in East and, to a certain extent, SE Asia tend to lean towards femininity.

The robustness in Siberians and northern Native Americans is probably environmental selection (brachycephalization to retain heat and powerful jaws for chewing of dried meat and for use of teeth as tools in place of hands in severe cold conditions... all mentioned in studies). All of this tends to be more male-hunter-relevant, instead of female-summer-gatherer-related, but because of a genetic predisposition for lack of sexual dimorphism, the side effect is that females get selected along for these traits.

The situation in East Asia since the Neolithic is a totally opposite trend. Selection seems to have been both on 1) females for femininity, with males getting selected along because of lack of sexual dimorphism genetically, 2) and direct selection on males (if not for femininity, then atleast pedamorphism) for a less volatile temperament.

1. Selection on females is made possible by the change in diet into soft grains (rice. etc.) that no longer require powerful jaws and big faces, and is probably spearheaded by the monopolization in economy by males, first in agriculture, where tilling requires male strength, and then in a patriarchal system in which all economy is male-mediated, all the way to the literati class (in China) with their multiple wives and numerous sons. In this sense, the difference in Chinese males from Korean and Japanese males is that besides the more feminine look shared by all three groups, Chinese males tend to have an extra dimension of "nerdiness" in their physical appearance that is probably a result of this literati class in China.

2. Selection directly on males for a more docile temperament is on both the literati class as well as on rice farmers, at the least, in the south. Pedamorphism/femininity seems rather just a physical expression of the change on the hormone level, resulting in
a ) a more "patient", "studious" temperament as well as more elastic mental mental capacities, capable of appropriating new info like a child is. If you look at the East Asian math Olypiad champions, they all tend to have arrested development in growth, facially and bodily.
b ) a more "docile" male is also selected in the pre-Han rice growers of south China, where traditionally the female did the work of cultivating rice as well as other enterprising pursuits. The males' job was actually to tend the house and kids. This is probably a left-over from the days when horticulture of roots and rice was first discovered in southern China and taken over by females-gatherers, and over time, the role of the male-hunter became more and more reduced so that at the end a good husband was someone who was able to stay put while the females did their work. I saw a recent documentary on Hakka Han with this same division of labor and the males all looked like they were 15, even when they are 30.

(I think the soil, environmental, and particular process of rice cultivation did not need much masculine strength in tilling. The growing season is longer so you can take your time in the plowing, and the patience required to secure rice stalks in place is actually better-suited for females and less masculine male personalities.)
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black man
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black man
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Joined: July 11th, 2005, 8:13 pm

April 10th, 2008, 3:57 am #2

ren wrote: Even while I grew up in America, I preferred that look in males until relatively recently (I'm heterosexual male.).
Why until recently? He looks like a weak competitor.

Btw, maybe modern Chinese phenotype is the result of social selection of weak-looking men by the rulers.
wrote:The robustness in Siberians and northern Native Americans is probably environmental selection (brachycephalization to retain heat and powerful jaws for chewing of dried meat and for use of teeth as tools in place of hands in severe cold conditions... all mentioned in studies). All of this tends to be more male-hunter-relevant, instead of female-summer-gatherer-related, but because of a genetic predisposition for lack of sexual dimorphism, the side effect is that females get selected along for these traits.
Broad jaws in Far Northern females can be due to the abuse of teeth for leather chewing. That was done for the clothes, which couldn't be bought like today.
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ren
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ren
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April 10th, 2008, 4:34 am #3

black man wrote:
ren wrote: Even while I grew up in America, I preferred that look in males until relatively recently (I'm heterosexual male.).
Why until recently? He looks like a weak competitor.
I meant that I actually used to prefer the East Asian ideals for male, a more feminine look, even while growing up in the U.S. The rationale, now that I think about it, was that they looked more feminine and thus stood out from the average male.

1. So, the emphasis here would be that they stood out. I myself am rather masculine-looking skeletally and yet also flesh-wise neotenic.

2. The emphasis in East Asia is probably another reason, that males who look like females are more attractive. Female sexuality is different from male sexuality. They are already more bisexual by nature.
Females tend to be attracted to males with masculine features while in ovulation and to less masculine-featured ones when not. On top of that, they prefer a masculine facial skeleton with feminine or youthful flesh features (smoother skin, almond eyes, big eyes... although small, masculine eyes is also attractive to them).

3. Presently, I prefer looking at masculine males, out of appreciation for what is masculine, after a deeper realization of identity. This is the general Western view. So, the East Asian ideal could actually be the result of the Confucian literati class, which emphasized a set of behavior that rather seems "effeminate" to post-Modern Westerners.
wrote:Btw, maybe modern Chinese phenotype is the result of social selection of weak-looking men by the rulers.
Well, the literati class was selected via examinations, so I doubt it.
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black man
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black man
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April 10th, 2008, 5:54 am #4

updates:

1) split topic from http://www.anthropedia.science/topic/529239/1/#new

2) new replies:
ren wrote:The lack of appreciation for sexual dimorphism could be because of the lack of sexual dimorphism in "Mongoloids", which begins on the skeletal level, and would rather be determined by genetics. Siberians and northern Native American females are overly masculine, lacking differentiation skeletally (including facial skeleton) with males, while the males in East and, to a certain extent, SE Asia tend to lean towards femininity.
I'd suggest to focus on rural settings first of all and then to check to what extent urban couples from different occupational groups look sexually dimorphic.
ren wrote:The robustness in Siberians and northern Native Americans is probably environmental selection (brachycephalization to retain heat and powerful jaws for chewing of dried meat and for use of teeth as tools in place of hands in severe cold conditions... all mentioned in studies). All of this tends to be more male-hunter-relevant, instead of female-summer-gatherer-related, but because of a genetic predisposition for lack of sexual dimorphism, the side effect is that females get selected along for these traits.
There is one essay by Chatters from 2014 according to which "hot rock cooking" enhanced female longevity in North America 9000 years ago. Those female survivors, Chatters writes, could have contributed to a decreased sexual dimorphism because he noticed a decrease of typically masculine features in skeletons from that period on, whereas the women more or less stayed the same. See also http://www.anthropedia.science/topic/10039980/1/ .
ren wrote:The situation in East Asia since the Neolithic is a totally opposite trend. Selection seems to have been both on 1) females for femininity, with males getting selected along because of lack of sexual dimorphism genetically, 2) and direct selection on males (if not for femininity, then atleast pedamorphism) for a less volatile temperament.
That could be certain peasant communities. But not everybody in East Asia has ancestry from such peasant communities. Besides, sociographies on Thai communities seem to imply that volatile temperament is more a matter of opportunity in combination with a lack of education than a matter of biology. Strictly speaking, typical masculine occupations can require the skill to keep on concentrating on one's work even when the performer knows that the chances to succeed are low. In this sense, those who perform well do not seek any thrill. They are more like "cool". And taking risks as such is not masculine. Rather, the latter should be called notoriously escapist when one considers that, e.g., stereotypical gamblers might avoid to spend more time together with their respective families. And a stereotypical gambler might, thus, not be much different from a typical otaku in certain ways. In the end it won't matter much whether a robust man dies while doing something dangerous or a weak man dies from having hanged himself.
ren wrote:2. Selection directly on males for a more docile temperament is on both the literati class as well as on rice farmers, at the least, in the south. Pedamorphism/femininity seems rather just a physical expression of the change on the hormone level, resulting in
a ) a more "patient", "studious" temperament as well as more elastic mental mental capacities, capable of appropriating new info like a child is. If you look at the East Asian math Olypiad champions, they all tend to have arrested development in growth, facially and bodily.
b ) a more "docile" male is also selected in the pre-Han rice growers of south China, where traditionally the female did the work of cultivating rice as well as other enterprising pursuits. The males' job was actually to tend the house and kids. This is probably a left-over from the days when horticulture of roots and rice was first discovered in southern China and taken over by females-gatherers, and over time, the role of the male-hunter became more and more reduced so that at the end a good husband was someone who was able to stay put while the females did their work. I saw a recent documentary on Hakka Han with this same division of labor and the males all looked like they were 15, even when they are 30.
ren wrote:I meant that I actually used to prefer the East Asian ideals for male, a more feminine look, even while growing up in the U.S. The rationale, now that I think about it, was that they looked more feminine and thus stood out from the average male.

1. So, the emphasis here would be that they stood out. I myself am rather masculine-looking skeletally and yet also flesh-wise neotenic.

2. The emphasis in East Asia is probably another reason, that males who look like females are more attractive. Female sexuality is different from male sexuality. They are already more bisexual by nature.
Females tend to be attracted to males with masculine features while in ovulation and to less masculine-featured ones when not. On top of that, they prefer a masculine facial skeleton with feminine or youthful flesh features (smoother skin, almond eyes, big eyes... although small, masculine eyes is also attractive to them).

3. Presently, I prefer looking at masculine males, out of appreciation for what is masculine, after a deeper realization of identity. This is the general Western view. So, the East Asian ideal could actually be the result of the Confucian literati class, which emphasized a set of behavior that rather seems "effeminate" to post-Modern Westerners.
First of all, much research has been androcentric, Eurocentric and focussing on men from a few social settings only. Even in terms of medicine 20th century researchers didn't care much about females, non-Whites and men from so-called subaltern populations among others. Similarly, not much is known about the preferences of most women concerning partner choices etc. I already indicated that one has to deduce ideas from what researchers write. As for bisexual people, they are ethologically more distinctive than many non-bisexual people might think. I.e., you should not simply declare women to be "bisexual" when you are not sure about that. Maybe men from certain circles prefer to be together with bisexual women. But neither those men nor those women are the majority in many societies. Actually, real bisexuals are probably aware of that since there are also negative stereotypes concerning bisexuals in particular according to at least one recent(?) study.

old post:
wrote:3. Presently, I prefer looking at masculine males, out of appreciation for what is masculine, after a deeper realization of identity. This is the general Western view. So, the East Asian ideal could actually be the result of the Confucian literati class, which emphasized a set of behavior that rather seems "effeminate" to post-Modern Westerners.
wrote:Btw, maybe modern Chinese phenotype is the result of social selection of weak-looking men by the rulers.
Well, the literati class was selected via examinations, so I doubt it.
And I doubt that premodern China was meritocratic. Much seems to have been invested in the maintenance of power rather than in "fair competition". I'd more go into the direction of the idea you previously mentioned, that sort of "Amerindian"-looking were on the level of (partly intellectual) soft skills outperformed by more "feminine" types in the specific cultural setting created in early China.

Of course, examinations were probably more or less the same for the candidates. But the subjective perception of the tasks also has an impact on the success of the learner. So some types of people (especially virile ones, I think) are excluded from great achievements from the beginning.
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