• Question: Why have men and women evolved slightly differently (e.g. men are often stronger and women are usually more social)

    Asked by 11mccoa1 to Josh, Stuart on 28 Jun 2013.
    • Photo: Stuart Archer

      Stuart Archer answered on 28 Jun 2013:

      That’s a good question, and a really complicated issue that scientists have been trying to work out since Darwin first proposed his theory of evolution! I’m not an expert in evolution by any means, but I’ve had a bit of a read up on this (it’s really interesting!) and I’ll try and explain what they’re on about! This is really the absolute basics of it – you’d have to ask someone who really studies evolution to get the full facts…

      From what I can tell, it all comes down to reproduction. In humans (and most mammals) the number of males who are able to reproduce at any given time is normally much larger than the number of females (perhaps due to the long amount of time it takes babies to grow in the womb?) This meant that there was a lot of competition between males for potential mates, leading them to fight over the females. The stronger males would win – this meant that there was pressure for males to evolve to become bigger and stronger than females, and may explain why males of some species may be less social. This is also though to be why males were typically the ‘hunter-gatherer’ types in the early days of human civilisation – they’re greater physical strength and skill was ideal for hunting.

      There’s a lot of research out there on this – I hope this at least answers your question a bit! 🙂