The width of the Maasai individuals associated with their power

The width of the Maasai individuals associated with their power

The narrower the face, the generally less physical manpower — and this is true not only for Africans.

Scientists from MSU and the Institute of Ethnology and anthropology in cooperation with foreign colleagues made the connection of physical force with the shape of the face among the Maasai — African pastoral tribe, leading a traditional way of life. It turned out that the wider the face, the higher on average the physical strength of its owner. The reason for this is the effect of testosterone on the development of the skull bones. The corresponding article was published in PLoS ONE.

The authors used the standard Russian-made dynamometer to assess grip strength of hand from 185 men and 120 women-the Maasai living in the Ngorongoro conservation area (Northern Tanzania). All 305 participants were divided into two groups 20-29 years and 30-50 years. Also all of them the photos were taken. While the photos were already divided into three groups with a narrow middle part of the face, with an average width of the Central part of the face, and the most broad. In the end it turned out that among men the difference in the power grip of the hand varies much more than among women (separate men showed results significantly above the male norm, among women this was not).

In addition, it was found that the wider face, wider and lower forehead, it was more than the distance between the corners of the eyes, as well as the wider was the nose and fuller lips, the more grip strength showed their owner in each of the age groups. The reason for this correlation, previously observed among the Europeans, the authors consider the influence of the key male sex hormone — testosterone.

Testosterone in adolescence contributes to the growth in breadth of the zygomatic bone, jaw, chin, the increase in brow bars and lengthening of the lower face. On the contrary, the influence of the female hormone estrogen leads to a more gracile facial shape — high eyebrows (almost without rollers), less massive jaws and thinner lips.

It has also been previously discovered that men with higher testosterone much more active struggle to improve their social status. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why women who show the faces of strangers, prefer a photo of the person who is in its middle part is wider and lips fuller. Such signs should indicate the highest amount of testosterone in the blood, which increases the biological value of the partner.