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Descent of Man [ 1871]

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Author Topic: Descent of Man [ 1871]  (Read 5914 times)
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« Reply #180 on: February 10, 2009, 01:25:12 pm »

Part Three - Sexual Selection in Relation to Man and Conclusion
Chapter XIX - Secondary Sexual Characters of Man

  WITH mankind the differences between the sexes are greater than in
most of the Quadrumana, but not so great as in some, for instance, the
mandrill. Man on an average is considerably taller, heavier, and
stronger than woman, with squarer shoulders and more plainly
pronounced muscles. Owing to the relation which exists between
muscular development and the projection of the brows,* the
superciliary ridge is generally more marked in man than in woman.
His body, and especially his face, is more hairy, and his voice has
a different and more powerful tone. In certain races the women are
said to differ slightly in tint from the men. For instance,
Schweinfurth, in speaking of a negress belonging to the Monbuttoos,
who inhabit the interior of Africa a few degrees north of the equator,
says, "Like all her race, she had a skin several shades lighter than
her husband's, being something of the colour of half-roasted
coffee."*(2) As the women labour in the fields and are quite
unclothed, it is not likely that they differ in colour from the men
owing to less exposure to the weather. European women are perhaps
the brighter coloured of the two sexes, as may be seen when both
have been equally exposed.

  * Schaaffhausen, translation, in Anthropological Review, Oct., 1868,
pp. 419, 420, 427.
  *(2) The Heart of Africa, English transl., 1873, vol i., p. 544.

  Man is more courageous, pugnacious and energetic than woman, and has
a more inventive genius. His brain is absolutely larger, but whether
or not proportionately to his larger body, has not, I believe, been
fully ascertained. In woman the face is rounder; the jaws and the base
of the skull smaller; the outlines of the body rounder, in parts
more prominent; and her pelvis is broader than in man;* but this
latter character may perhaps be considered rather as a primary than
a secondary sexual character. She comes to maturity at an earlier
age than man.

  * Ecker, translation, in Anthropological Review, Oct., 1868, pp.
351-356. The comparison of the form of the skull in men and women
has been followed out with much care by Welcker.

  As with animals of all classes, so with man, the distinctive
characters of the male sex are not fully developed until he is
nearly mature; and if emasculated they never appear. The beard, for
instance, is a secondary sexual character, and male children are
beardless, though at an early age they have abundant hair on the head.
It is probably due to the rather late appearance in life of the
successive variations whereby man has acquired his masculine
characters, that they are transmitted to the male sex alone. Male
and female children resemble each other closely, like the young of
so many other animals in which the adult sexes differ widely; they
likewise resemble the mature female much more closely than the
mature male. The female, however, ultimately assumes certain
distinctive characters, and in the formation of her skull, is said
to be intermediate between the child and the man.* Again, as the young
of closely allied though distinct species do not differ nearly so much
from each other as do the adults, so it is with the children of the
different races of man. Some have even maintained that
race-differences cannot be detected in the infantile skull.*(2) In
regard to colour, the new-born negro child is reddish nut-brown, which
soon becomes slaty-grey; the black colour being fully developed within
a year in the Soudan, but not until three years in Egypt. The eyes
of the negro are at first blue, and the hair chestnut-brown rather
than black, being curled only at the ends. The children of the
Australians immediately after birth are yellowish-brown, and become
dark at a later age. Those of the Guaranys of Paraguay are
whitish-yellow, but they acquire in the course of a few weeks the
yellowish-brown tint of their parents. Similar observations have
been made in other parts of America.*(3)

  * Ecker and Welcker, ibid., pp. 352, 355; Vogt, Lectures on Man,
Eng. translat., p. 81.
  *(2) Schaaffhausen, Anthropolog. Review, ibid., p. 429.
  *(3) Pruner-Bey, on negro infants as quoted by Vogt, Lectures on
Man, Eng. translat., 1864, p. 189: for further facts on negro infants,
as quoted from Winterbottom and Camper, see Lawrence, Lectures on
Physiology, &c., 1822, p. 451. For the infants of the Guaranys, see
Rengger, Saugethiere, &c., s. 3. See also Godron, De l'Espece, tom.
ii., 1859, p. 253. For the Australians, Waitz, Introduction to
Anthropology, Eng. translat., 1863, p. 99.

  I have specified the foregoing differences between the male and
female sex in mankind, because they are curiously like those of the
Quadrumana. With these animals the female is mature at an earlier
age than the male; at least this is certainly the case in Cebus
azarae.* The males of most species are larger and stronger than the
females, of which fact the gorilla affords a well-known instance. Even
in so trifling a character as the greater prominence of the
superciliary ridge, the males of certain monkeys differ from the
females,*(2) and agree in this respect with mankind. In the gorilla
and certain other monkeys, the cranium of the adult male presents a
strongly-marked sagittal crest, which is absent in the female; and
Ecker found a trace of a similar difference between the two sexes in
the Australians.*(3) With monkeys when there is any difference in
the voice, that of the male is the more powerful. We have seen that
certain male monkeys have a well-developed beard, which is quite
deficient, or much less developed in the female. No instance is
known of the beard, whiskers, or moustache being larger in the
female than in the male monkey. Even in the colour of the beard
there is a curious parallelism between man and the Quadrumana, for
with man when the beard differs in colour from the hair of the head,
as is commonly the case, it is, I believe, almost always of a
lighter tint, being often reddish. I have repeatedly observed this
fact in England; but two gentlemen have lately written to me, saying
that they form an exception to the rule. One of these gentlemen
accounts for the fact by the wide difference in colour of the hair
on the paternal and maternal sides of his family. Both had been long
aware of this peculiarity (one of them having often been accused of
dyeing his beard), and had been thus led to observe other men, and
were convinced that the exceptions were very rare. Dr. **** attended
to this little point for me in Russia, and found no exception to the
rule. In Calcutta, Mr. J. Scott, of the Botanic Gardens, was so kind
as to observe the many races of men to be seen there, as well as in
some other parts of India, namely, two races of Sikhim, the Bhoteas,
Hindoos, Burmese, and Chinese, most of which races have very little
hair on the face; and he always found that when there was any
difference in colour between the hair of the head and the beard, the
latter was invariably lighter. Now with monkeys, as has already been
stated, the beard frequently differs strikingly in colour from the
hair of the head, and in such cases it is always of a lighter hue,
being often pure white, sometimes yellow or reddish.*(4)

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