facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Study: Men and women look more alike today

April 4, 2011 at 8:19 PM   |   Comments

RALEIGH, N.C., April 4 (UPI) -- Researchers examining four centuries of skulls from Spain and Portugal say men and women look more like each other today than they did long ago.

Anthropologists at North Carolina State University found the differences in the craniofacial features of men and women have become less pronounced over the centuries, a university release reported Monday.

The researchers found that while craniofacial features for both sexes in Spain have changed over time, the changes have been particularly significant in females, with the facial structure of modern Spanish females considerably larger than that of 16th century women.

The difference may stem from improved nutrition or other environmental factors, the researchers say.

Researchers say studying structural differences between male and female skulls has importance because "this can help us establish the sex of the remains based on their craniofacial features," NCSU anthropologist Ann Ross says.

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

But the research has modern applications as well, she said, particularly when an incomplete skeleton missing the pelvic area or other distinctive feature is found.

"Being able to tell if a skull belonged to a man or woman is useful in both criminal investigation and academic research," Ross said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth
2
Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space
3
Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time
4
Astronomers discover worst-smelling comet in space Astronomers discover worst-smelling comet in space
5
Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback