Print 38 comment(s) - last by Ausdrake.. on Apr 8 at 1:31 AM

Cranial features in men, women becoming more similar with time  (Source: David Hunt, North Carolina State University)
Skulls of men and women in Spain from the 16th century to the 20th century have become more and more similar over time

North Carolina State University researchers have found that the facial structures of men and women in Spain have become less distinct over time.  

Dr. Ann Ross, study leader and an associate professor of anthropology at North Carolina State University, and a team of researchers, have discovered that the craniofacial features of Spanish and Portuguese men and women have become more and more similar since the 16th century. 

Ross and her colleagues made this discovery by comparing over 200 skulls from 16th to 20th century Spain. They also looked at 50 skulls from 20th century Portugal. By paying particular attention to the craniofacial features, they found that male and female skulls from the 16th century were more distinct than in the 20th century. 

For instance, modern Spanish women have larger facial structures than Spanish women from the 16th century. These larger facial structures are much closer to the size of men's facial structures. According to Ross, improved nutrition may be one of the reasons for the increased size of female craniofacial features.  

Ross and her colleagues looked into the changing features of male and female skulls in order to better understand exactly how they've changed over time, which can help researchers identify the sex of remains based on these features. Also, this knowledge could be helpful to academic research and criminal investigations. 

"Improving our understanding of the craniofacial features of regional groups can help us learn more from skeletal remains, or even help us identify an individual based on his or her remains," said Ross. 

Ross also found that the craniofacial differences between men and women were similar between Portuguese and Spanish populations. This means that the Spanish standards for distinguishing between remains of different sexes could be applied regionally.  

"This has applications for characterizing older remains," said Ross. "Applying 20th century standards to historical remains could be misleading, since sex differences can change over time - as we showed in this study."

This study was published in Forensic Science International.

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I don't believe it
By tastyratz on 4/6/2011 11:52:40 AM , Rating: 5
I think we need to crack open Justin Biebers skull to confirm the findings.

RE: I don't believe it
By VoodooChicken on 4/6/2011 12:16:25 PM , Rating: 5
Doesn't the top come off just like a lego?

RE: I don't believe it
By phxfreddy on 4/6/2011 6:48:24 PM , Rating: 5
Why do you have a picture of Hillary Swank accompanying this article?

RE: I don't believe it
By ARoyalF on 4/6/2011 7:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
LOL. +6

RE: I don't believe it
By Iaiken on 4/6/2011 12:33:41 PM , Rating: 4
Now now, let's be civilized about this; after all, we're none of us savages.

I second the motion... Let's put it to a vote. :D

RE: I don't believe it
By icemansims on 4/6/2011 2:02:58 PM , Rating: 3
Proposed and seconded. All in favor?

RE: I don't believe it
By Kurz on 4/6/2011 2:04:02 PM , Rating: 3
Ah the beauty of a Democracy.

RE: I don't believe it
By petpeeve on 4/6/2011 3:59:05 PM , Rating: 2

RE: I don't believe it
By snakeInTheGrass on 4/7/2011 12:04:27 AM , Rating: 5
That's a quorum then! J-Bieb's skull belongs to science now. It's going to be really interesting to see how she compares to a male.

RE: I don't believe it
By kattanna on 4/6/2011 12:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
whats with the horridly silly comb forward..thingy

he have bald spots on the front of his head or something already?

RE: I don't believe it
By PrinceGaz on 4/6/2011 2:08:43 PM , Rating: 2
What's wrong with Justin Bieber? Why was his picture even included?

RE: I don't believe it
By GaryJohnson on 4/6/2011 3:26:52 PM , Rating: 5
Why was his picture even included?

Because it generates comments, which generate hits, which generate ad revenue.

RE: I don't believe it
By Brandon Hill on 4/6/2011 3:40:12 PM , Rating: 5
Because "it" could pass as male or female depending on the lighting ;)

RE: I don't believe it
By kattanna on 4/6/2011 4:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
LOL.. now that was funny

RE: I don't believe it
By Omega215D on 4/6/2011 5:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget accessories as well. Pop some earrings on it and blush and voila, instant female. Take all that off... a very effeminate boy.

RE: I don't believe it
By Smartless on 4/6/2011 2:35:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well he does SOUND like a girl.

RE: I don't believe it
By sviola on 4/6/2011 2:59:44 PM , Rating: 5
and a annoying one at that.

RE: I don't believe it
By HypocriteWatch on 4/6/2011 3:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
Amusing that most of the posts here are about that abominable pic of that Canadian kid. For me, this image will likely give me nightmares - thanks Wired...

This is nothing new and is well understood.
By name99 on 4/6/2011 3:03:19 PM , Rating: 3
I'm surprised that the article does not mention what is probably the most important driver of this --- softer food.
Softer food means less chewing and thus weaker (and less prominent) jaw muscles, which then affect the shape of everything else --- eg muscles pulling on jaw bones make the bones grow larger.
This is a well-known effect, and the extent to which human jaws have shrunk in just the last 1000 years is actually surprisingly high. I forget the number and exactly what was measured, but it's like 10 or 15%.

I suspect that pretty much everything discovered her can be explained by 16th men had noticeably larger jawbones/muscles than women just because male muscles in general, when exercised, grow larger than for women; and since the 16th century that jawbone/muscle size has gradually shrunk as we eat ever less gristle and raw grains.

RE: This is nothing new and is well understood.
By name99 on 4/6/2011 3:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
Of course we have the issue that the study claims the REVERSE of what I claimed, namely:

For instance, modern Spanish women have larger facial structures than Spanish women from the 16th century. These larger facial structures are much closer to the size of men's facial structures.

So I have to admit to being somewhat baffled. But the fact that the obvious and well known phenomenon I described is not addresses makes me wonder what is going on here. A discovery that claims to substantially contradict received wisdom should be getting more attention than the fairly minor PR we see here.

By ClownPuncher on 4/6/2011 3:14:16 PM , Rating: 5
Because Spanish women talk non-stop, mimicking chewing.

By Pneumothorax on 4/6/2011 4:55:21 PM , Rating: 1
Who cares, they're HAWT!

By ClownPuncher on 4/6/2011 5:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
Scientifically, I agree.

By snakeInTheGrass on 4/7/2011 12:07:05 AM , Rating: 2
Clown punchers and lizard milkers agree. Sounds like science to me.

RE: This is nothing new and is well understood.
By Reclaimer77 on 4/6/11, Rating: -1
Darwin aint dead....
By Dfere on 4/6/2011 1:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
You think perhaps as we grew as a society, those who looked prettier and similar got to have more kids in a city than those who went out in the wilds and lived remotely...????


If i do have kids and become a grandfather..... I won't be able to pick out my grandchildren...... or at least have a reason why I can't??????

RE: Darwin aint dead....
By someguy123 on 4/6/2011 2:30:56 PM , Rating: 4
I think the reason is that, as we grew into an industrial society there became more and more options outside of manual labor. I guess the lack of testosterone use caused test levels to gradually drop, turning the would be manly man into a mush of androgyny. Unless we start pumping out more Arnie movies and getting people off the couch I foresee a future of men born with breasts.

RE: Darwin aint dead....
By BugblatterIII on 4/6/2011 7:38:23 PM , Rating: 3
That would be weird; even women aren't born with breasts...

Many men have grown their own of course, although I doubt they're as much fun, even with judicious waxing.

RE: Darwin aint dead....
By ARoyalF on 4/6/2011 7:38:24 PM , Rating: 2
Too late! They call them "moobs ".

By Adonlude on 4/6/2011 11:37:36 AM , Rating: 3
Was really not in the mood to start my morning with a photo of Justin rockin La Tigre!

RE: Cmon!
By Brandon Hill on 4/6/2011 11:59:47 AM , Rating: 2
You just need somebody to loooooo-UH-ovvvvvvvvvvvve

RE: Cmon!
By Omega215D on 4/6/2011 5:38:44 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe Tiff has a thing for the Bieb.

Similar Craniums?
By rburnham on 4/6/2011 2:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
Not in my house. My head is HUGE!

RE: Similar Craniums?
By Omega215D on 4/6/2011 5:40:35 PM , Rating: 2
George Lopez, is that you?

RE: Similar Craniums?
By Brandon Hill on 4/6/2011 5:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
More like Rocky Dennis...

Does This Mean..
By ResStellarum on 4/6/2011 10:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
Are all of his female fans unknowingly revealing their sapphic inclinations?

Who's the cutie?
By Ausdrake on 4/8/2011 1:31:51 AM , Rating: 2
Who's the cute girl in the article pictures? What? It's not a... oh god!

No but seriously I've never seen her look MORE effeminate than usual until I saw the article image, is she wearing lipstick?

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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