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X asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

Any (evolutionary) theories as to why women of certain ethnicity have prominent facial hair?

Women of certain ethnicity have more visible, thick facial hair, and I am not taking about hormonal imbalance or any diseases or conditions.

For example South East Asian, Mediterranean and Mid Eastern women have more prominent facial hair growth, it’s not JUST the colour of the hair either, brunette European women in contrast don’t have that much facial hair, especially on the sides of the face.

Do you have any theories as to why this could be?

I am thinking along the lines of geographical & climatic factors.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    its just genenics, and most women get it when they are older.

  • 1 decade ago

    There shouldn't be. Humans are all so closely related that facial hair can easily be explained by chance lineages within our existing gene set plus a mutation or three. For there to be an evolutionary theory, you would also have to show the existence of a group and selection within that group.

    When you try to define what you mean by " South East Asian, Mediterranean and Mid Eastern women" well enough to say they have more visible facial hair, you run into the group problem and probably a circular definition - e.g. " I know they're Mediterranean because they have coarse facial hair."

    To show selection, having defined a group that is different, you would have to show a difference beyond chance in the survival of offspring of group members that did or didn't have the trait.

    Only at that point should you begin to think of causative factors. Otherwise it become another case of what "everybody knows" being, in fact, wrong.

  • 1 decade ago

    Sexual differentiation goes further in some races than in others. Not only do different races have various degrees of sexual differentiation, those races that have _less of it_ can swing either toward androgynous or toward gracility.

    In the example you mentioned, the women have pronounced facial hair, which is usually considered a male secondary sexual characteristic.

    But other races might be somewhat short on differentiation the other way; i.e., the males might lack facial hair and/or have the gentle contours of face that are normally considered feminine.

    Still other races differ with both the foregoing sorts by having strongly differentiated genders: viva la difference! Basically, the answer to your question is: racial differences exist.

  • 1 decade ago

    Perhaps its an "accident" of evolution, being that these cultures have rules of covering a young unmarried woman's face, therefore natural selection based on appearance does not take place. Many countries arrange marriages by offering doweries etc to encourage men to marry them.

    This theory is based on the assumption the the men of these races wouldn't like facial hair if they saw their future brides face beforehand.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The ears need to be protected from UV rays, wind, heat, etc. depending on the survival necessary. Later on, lack of hair was considered attractive--maybe due a sign of vulnerability.

  • 1 decade ago

    During human migration facial hair was a protective mechanism against the harmful rays of the sun. As we migrated out of Africa losing our need for pigmentation we acquired hair for protection.

  • 1 decade ago

    Sexual selection is the technical term. Arbitrary beauty standards can influence and amplify slight variations if they are in place for long enough.

  • two words will answer that. though they may seem weird. sexual selection. that is what the guys liked from say 100yrs ago to well 10000yrs ago. it is just recently that guys decided they like fairly hairless women. it could also have formed in this brief storm of ice ages as an actual advantage, though sexual selection is much more likely.

  • 1 decade ago

    They were last to evolve? More male hormones than other nationalities?

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