What would happen if women suddenly become stronger men
If women suddenly gained physical strength, superior male, how would our society? The correspondent of BBC Future asked researchers and experts on gender issues. Here are the results of this intriguing thought experiment.
When, in 1963, the father of Judith Gardiner died, her mother, a lawyer, headed the patent office, where she used to help her husband.
In those years, very few women get to such positions, but his mother Judith had his own clever tricks to establish itself in the eyes of others.
The first thing she did to your Desk above to her petite figure (height 1.5 m) slightly above the male customers.
In addition, she ordered that all business Lunches or business dinners in advance was paid for from her account.
“She figured out what simple, ordinary means used by men to assert their dominance, says Judith Gardiner, now a Professor of English, gender studies and women’s studies at the University of Illinois (USA). — She radiated authority and competence in situations unusual for women of the time”.
But there would be a business mother Judith as successful if, for example, she did not pretend to be higher than it really is?
What will happen to our world if suddenly to change physical sex? Imagine that women inexplicably become larger and stronger men — so immediately, without hundreds of thousands of years of evolution.
For wildlife it is normal when the female is larger than male.
This, of course, highly unlikely, but the reflections of the experts that would give our world such a transformation, can open our eyes to many things that people take now for granted in the relations of the two sexes.
To begin, we note that in nature most species on our planet, from insects to frogs and oysters — is the norm that females are larger than males, as they are inside the body hundreds, if not thousands of eggs.
The exception to this rule — most terrestrial vertebrates, including humans. Here the females grow up to a certain limit, and then, in the reproductive period, just accumulate fat instead of build muscle or bone mass.
Males, meanwhile, develop those characteristics that help them compete for the favor of females — in the case of a man’s strength and body size.
And although now the difference in physical performance between male and female is reduced (women successfully involved in many athletic competitions, including endurance), still — existing for thousands of years, differences remain.
First, men on average bigger and stronger than women — they have more skeletal mass, 40% higher strength of the upper body and 33% — the lower part of the body.
And if women have set a goal to become stronger than men, then they would have to somehow be bigger: big bones need stronger muscles.
The laws of biology simply do not allow the owner of miniature figures to reach considerable strength. In addition, such changes must be accompanied by increased levels of testosterone and other hormones.
And if after this metamorphosis the society is guided by laws of nature, then children would have to take care of men, not women.
“We’d have a matriarchy, where all run by women, and with children sitting men,” says Daphne FAIRBURN, Professor Emeritus of biology at the University of California (riverside).
At the same time, she adds, women would become more difficult to produce offspring: “If such changes [the female body] has occurred and would be accompanied by increase in the level of testosterone, it would have a negative impact on the reproductive function of women.”
The strength increase could also have physiological consequences, which in the order of things among men, regardless of whether they use their muscles or not.
For example, according to a study conducted under the leadership of Michael Bang Petersen, Professor of political science at Aarhus University (Denmark), men with stronger upper body are more likely to support a policy that is beneficial for them.
For example, strong and rich men, as a rule, against redistribution of money in favor of those who are poorer than them.
Petersen suggests that the behavior of these men, perhaps formed by the preceding generations, when the physically stronger demanded the distribution of resources in their favor.