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Author Topic: Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?  (Read 11218 times)

Erica in Boston

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Erica in Boston asked the Naked Scientists:

Why do women seem to gain weight mostly in the stomach and hips? Is it because this is our centre of mass, or is it to cushion a possible fetus?

What do you think?


 

Offline Volcano

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Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?
« Reply #1 on: 12/09/2008 13:29:41 »
Women's bodies store fat mainly subcutaneously around the hips and bottom early on in their lives to provide cushioning and hence protection to the reproductive organs. Men's bodies store fat abdominally, which also includes around their abdominal organs. Men suffer from heart conditions more readily than women due to abdominal fat collecting around the heart throughout their lives.

As women pass the age by which most have given birth, their fat begins to be stored abdominally too; hence older women haven't got that 'hourglass' figure anymore as they start to fill out around the middle. Men with the classic 'beer gut' are an example of how this abdominal fat is displayed, though there may be no excess fat elsewhere on their bodies.
 

Offline Evie

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Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?
« Reply #2 on: 12/09/2008 14:37:15 »
This reminds me of a VERY politically incorrect joke...

Why are women's feet smaller than men's?
 

Offline RD

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Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?
« Reply #3 on: 12/09/2008 20:46:43 »
Why are women's feet smaller than men's?

Nothing grows big in the shade.
 

Offline Evie

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Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?
« Reply #4 on: 12/09/2008 21:40:47 »
Why are women's feet smaller than men's?

Nothing grows big in the shade.


Not quite....



Ready?








So they can stand closer to the sink!;D :o ;D :o
 

Offline RD

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Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?
« Reply #5 on: 12/09/2008 22:08:56 »
If a woman stored fat like a man, abdominally, she would appear pregnant.
Appearing pregnant when not pregnant would be a reproductive disadvantage.
So there would be evolutionary pressure for women to store fat, (necessary for reproduction),
in areas other than the abdomen, (e.g. buttocks, thighs).
 

Offline Volcano

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Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?
« Reply #6 on: 13/09/2008 02:12:10 »
Appearing pregnant when not pregnant would be a reproductive disadvantage.

 Why do you think that?
 

Offline RD

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Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?
« Reply #7 on: 13/09/2008 04:47:14 »
Appearing pregnant when not pregnant would be a reproductive disadvantage.

 Why do you think that?


Imagine all men could be placed in one of two categories:-

1. Those who only find pregnant-looking women sexually attractive, (some of whom actually are pregnant).
2. Those who only find non-pregnant-looking women sexually attractive, (less are actually pregnant than the above group).

and that these predilections are inherited by their (male) offspring.

Some of the partners of Group 1 males will actually be pregnant by a group 2 male. Whereas the all partners of Group 2 males can only be pregnant by a Group 2 male.  Over time the group 1 trait will diminish in the population and virtually become extinct:
the "pregnant-looking-women-are-sexy" gene is doomed.
Eventually creating a male population who almost exclusively do not find pregnant-looking women sexually attractive.

So any female who appears pregnant when not pregnant will be at a reproductive disadvantage: few/no males will find her sexually attractive: she is less likely find a mate and reproduce than her contemporaries who do not appear pregnant. So there will be evolutionary pressure producing females who do not appear pregnant when not pregnant, hence the fat deposition in areas other than abdomen,
(e.g. buttocks, thighs).

Female fashions support my assertion that a pregnant appearance is not attractive to males, e.g. the current female fashion for baring the midriff, if they have a flat "not-pregnant" abdomen, and many previous female fashions to accentuate (or create) small waists,
(e.g. corsets).
Has there ever been a female fashion to accentuate, or create the appearance of, a distended belly ?.
« Last Edit: 13/09/2008 04:51:46 by RD »
 

Offline Volcano

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Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?
« Reply #8 on: 13/09/2008 12:52:18 »

 Imagine all men could be placed in one of two categories:-

1. Those who only find pregnant-looking women sexually attractive, (some of whom actually are pregnant).
2. Those who only find non-pregnant-looking women sexually attractive, (less are actually pregnant than the above group).

and that these predilections are inherited by their (male) offspring.


 I think it's an over-assumption that men fall into just 2 groups and sexual predilections are inherited (i.e. where do gay people come from?)

Quote
Female fashions support my assertion that a pregnant appearance is not attractive to males, e.g. the current female fashion for baring the midriff, if they have a flat "not-pregnant" abdomen, 

Has there ever been a female fashion to accentuate, or create the appearance of, a distended belly ?.

 The critical word here is 'fashion'. Slim is currently 'in fashion' in many countries at this moment in time. This is not the case for other countries and certainly hasn't been throughout history:

  newbielink:http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=392421 [nonactive]

 
 

Offline RD

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Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?
« Reply #9 on: 13/09/2008 16:29:29 »

 Imagine all men could be placed in one of two categories:-

1. Those who only find pregnant-looking women sexually attractive, (some of whom actually are pregnant).
2. Those who only find non-pregnant-looking women sexually attractive, (less are actually pregnant than the above group).

and that these predilections are inherited by their (male) offspring.


 I think it's an over-assumption that men fall into just 2 groups and sexual predilections are inherited

The two groups were a simplification to clearly show that a "pregnant-looking-women-are-sexy" trait is not going to be passed on as frequently as a "pregnant-looking-women-are-not-sexy" trait, so over time the vast majority of males do not find pregnant-looking women sexually attractive. (I appreciate genetics and sexual behaviour are actually more complex).

If women start having cosmetic surgery to augment their abdomen instead of flattening it, ("tummy tuck"), I may change my opinion.

[Pregnancy fetishism does exist, but for reasons I have described above it is a minority taste.
Men who only find pregnant women sexually attractive are not going to pass on that trait: they are not the father of the (unborn) child].
« Last Edit: 13/09/2008 17:07:14 by RD »
 

paul.fr

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Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?
« Reply #10 on: 13/09/2008 23:08:35 »
This reminds me of a VERY politically incorrect joke...

Why are women's feet smaller than men's?

Please tell.
 

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Why do women seem to gain weight mostly on their hips?
« Reply #10 on: 13/09/2008 23:08:35 »

 

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