Why are men muscular? Reproductive, hormonal, and ecological hypotheses to explain variation in human male muscularity
7 November 11:30
Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road
Dr. Kesson Magid is a biological anthropologist interested in ecological and cultural influences upon human health, in particular early life influences on adult cognitive, reproductive, and immune traits.
Muscularity is metabolically costly and dependent upon testosterone. Human males are considerably more muscular than females, compared to other primates and other species. This difference may be a product of sexual selection or an adaptation to caregiving, subsistence and provisioning. Measures of salivary testosterone, mid-upper arm muscularity and demographic data collected from a cross-cultural population of men resident in Bangladesh and the UK suggest: 1. human muscularity is unreliable as a sexually selected signal of daily testosterone levels; 2. cohabiting and fatherhood have contradictory effects on muscularity and testosterone; 3. shifts to daily testosterone patterns link to muscularity according to social conditions of provisioning.