February 23, 2023 08:31
It is often thought that women spend more time shopping than men, and now scientists believe they have found the reason.
Over the course of evolution, they say, women developed bigger pelvises than men to give birth to babies with bigger heads who are more intelligent. As a result, women's arms tend to slope outwards as they extend down from narrower shoulders to their hips.
In contrast, men have wider shoulders than their hips causing their arms to extend down straight.
The sloped arms of women are less advantageous than the straight arms of men when it comes to throwing spears or wielding knives for hunting. And a large pelvis that lowers the body's center of mass makes it more difficult to run fast.
As a result of this physical trait, men focused on hunting while women on gathering.
How does this bear on shopping? Surveys show that the top item on a list of things male university students want the most is a car, while female college students favor handbags. Perhaps men yearned for a transportation machine that served their hunting instincts, while women wanted to have receptacles to carry their loot around in.
When women look around different shops and try different things on, they are in a sense foraging, and if they take time over their purchases they are perhaps replicating their assessment of fruits and mushrooms for edibility.
In contrast, men take less time to choose because they need to react fast so their prey does not get away.
But evolutionary psychology is often a circular argument, and other factors may well come into play, for example that women in modern times had more time to shop while their men were out earning money. Only a more equal future will show if these traits persist.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com