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Rachellelogram
06-22-2011, 10:45 PM
Obviously there are exceptions to this, but in my observation Asian people (both men and women) tend to have a very low body hair quotient. Italians and people from India tend to be fuzzier. Why?

Were there evolutionary pressures against hair in Asia throughout history? Have differing amounts of testosterone been found in people of different ethnicities? Has this kind of test ever been done? I welcome any insight.

TriPolar
06-22-2011, 11:04 PM
Lots of variance in Italians. They are not a very homogenous group of people. Check out the hairy ancestor thread, a lot of this is just unknown.

levdrakon
06-22-2011, 11:17 PM
I have high testosterone, so the doc says, but I'm not very hairy. I'm white/European, AFAIK.

septimus
06-23-2011, 03:25 AM
Some of the men from our village in Thailand worked in Libya for 2 years during the 1980's. They informed me that some of them grew facial hair and needed to shave while in Libya! This surprised me: Was it related to different condiments? Psychological or hormonal adjustment to Islamic restrictions? I've no idea.

rhubarbarin
06-23-2011, 07:58 AM
'Caucasian' people - so people with many of the features and hair types typical of those ancient tribes who seem to have originated in Europe and spread (with plenty of intermarriage) into Russia, Western Asia/the Middle East, Southern and Central Asia, and some parts of Northern Africa - tend to have more body hair, and more facial hair on men, compared to all other people in the world, many of whom are downright hairless except for typical adult axilliary hair (some have barely that). All Native Americans, Eastern and South-Eastern Asians, the Asiatic tribes of the Eurasian far North, Pacific Islanders, Australian Aborigines, and most of the ethnic groups of the most genetically diverse continent, Africa, usually have sparse to no body hair, and sparser beards.

Groups that seem like exceptions to this rule, like the Ainu people native to Hokkaido in Japan, who historically look very East Asian in terms of their facial features, but have thick beards and often plenty of body hair- are usually found to have significant 'Caucasian' heritage to blame for the hair. Turns out they originated in Russia (some 20,000 years ago) and simply retained more of those hairy genes.

It's not a hormonal thing (since two guys who are just as manly and full of testosterone can be hairy as a bear and totally hairless, depending on their heritage), although it is affected by hormones certainly. It is genetic. And no one knows why it's so. I'd like to think it's because 'Caucasoid' people are part Neanderthal (who are more recently hypothesized to be quite furry); but supposedly all non-Africans have about the same amount Neanderthal hybridization, so there goes that theory.

Enter the Flagon
06-23-2011, 07:03 PM
Oh, I know! I know!

Sexual selection.

Right?

Markxxx
06-23-2011, 08:09 PM
There used to be lots of hairy East Asians, till this one hairless East Asian guy came along.

And evidently he was REALLY good in bed. I mean REALLY good. And he got to...Well let's just say his reputation as a good lover got around to all the East Asian women and the rest is evolution in practice :)

Siam Sam
06-24-2011, 12:08 AM
Some of the men from our village in Thailand worked in Libya for 2 years during the 1980's. They informed me that some of them grew facial hair and needed to shave while in Libya! This surprised me: Was it related to different condiments? Psychological or hormonal adjustment to Islamic restrictions? I've no idea.

There are some Thais with beards. Not many, but not all that rare. There's an old stereotype that only bandits wear beards.

constanze
06-24-2011, 04:30 AM
Were there evolutionary pressures against hair in Asia throughout history?

Evolution does not select against everything, only against things that are detrimental to survival fitness compared to other things of the same species, and only if one disadvantage is not an advantage in other areas (see the size and shape of bird beaks with regards to the pick-reflex*).

In small populations, such as early humans, it's enough for a freak mutation to introduce hairlessness and spread easily, while in the tribe two valleys farther, the mutation didn't occur and thus didn't spread.

Have differing amounts of testosterone been found in people of different ethnicities? Has this kind of test ever been done? I welcome any insight.

What have hormones got to do with genetic disposition for less hair? Testosterone only influences the growth of hair you've genetically got, it can't make hair grow you haven't go.

* In case you don't know: young bird chicks pick on the parent's beak to trigger the feeding reflex. The more they pick, they more the get fed. So scientists tested various shapes of beak to see which shape/ colour combo got the highest picks, which was a 15 cm (half foot) long, thin and narrow, white-and-red striped thing that looked nothing like a normal beak. So why didn't this superior beak succed? Because adult birds need their beaks for things like eating, and a 15 cm long narrow beak would be more trouble in that regard. So evolution favoured a compromise.

Dr. Drake
06-24-2011, 09:42 AM
'Caucasian' people - so people with many of the features and hair types typical of those ancient tribes who seem to have originated in Europe and spread (with plenty of intermarriage) into Russia, Western Asia/the Middle East, Southern and Central Asia, and some parts of Northern Africa - tend to have more body hair, and more facial hair on men, compared to all other people in the world, many of whom are downright hairless except for typical adult axilliary hair (some have barely that). All Native Americans, Eastern and South-Eastern Asians, the Asiatic tribes of the Eurasian far North, Pacific Islanders, Australian Aborigines, and most of the ethnic groups of the most genetically diverse continent, Africa, usually have sparse to no body hair, and sparser beards.

Groups that seem like exceptions to this rule, like the Ainu people native to Hokkaido in Japan, who historically look very East Asian in terms of their facial features, but have thick beards and often plenty of body hair- are usually found to have significant 'Caucasian' heritage to blame for the hair. Turns out they originated in Russia (some 20,000 years ago) and simply retained more of those hairy genes.

It's not a hormonal thing (since two guys who are just as manly and full of testosterone can be hairy as a bear and totally hairless, depending on their heritage), although it is affected by hormones certainly. It is genetic. And no one knows why it's so. I'd like to think it's because 'Caucasoid' people are part Neanderthal (who are more recently hypothesized to be quite furry); but supposedly all non-Africans have about the same amount Neanderthal hybridization, so there goes that theory."Caucasoid" is better than "Caucasian," but it's still not a very precisely defined term. I'm not aware of any population group that originated in Europe and spread in the pattern you give. The Indo-Europeans are closest, but they didn't originate in Europe, and for "North Africa" you'd have to be counting Greek and Roman colonies.

I'd like to know the answer to the question, too. I'm sure the various patterns of body hair could be mapped, but I don't know who has done so.

And regarding sexual selection: an Italian cousin told me the story that if his mother had been able to see his father (her husband) shirtless before the marriage, she wouldn't have gone through with it, but given the culture's morals she was not permitted to select against the trait.

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