Biological Anthropology Section
Central States Anthropological Society
Cosponsored - Oral Presentation Session
Greater estrogen produced by ovaries causes bones in female bodies to fuse before males’ resulting in sex differences in adult height. Female pelves expand more than males’ due to estrogen and relaxin produced and employed by the tissues of the pelvic region and potentially also due to greater internal space occupied by female gonads and genitals. Evolutionary explanations for skeletal sex differences that focus too narrowly on big competitive men and broad birthing women must evolve to include the adaptive biology of skeletal growth. In this case, dichotomizing evolution into proximate-ultimate categories may be impeding scientific progress. Taking its cues from science, a powerful pop culture narrative about biological sex differences roots proscribed and rigid sex and gender concepts in “human nature.” But, demonstrating through science that some evolutionary narratives are incomplete (at best) should help rip human evolution out of the patriarchal playbook.