Current life events made me wonder: Is it possible that female humans evolved to be on average smaller than males, so that they can reuse their partner's cloth during pregnancy?

At least in my culture, males prefer smaller females, which would suggest some selective pressure, but I'm unsure whether this is cultural or actually makes biological sense.


closed as primarily opinion-based by kmm, MattDMo, AliceD, anongoodnurse, Mad Scientist Apr 3 '16 at 19:30

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    $\begingroup$ For how long do we wear clothes and possibly recycle them to partners? I would say this is not longer than for one generation. So it is quite unlikely that evolution plays a role here. $\endgroup$ – Chris Apr 3 '16 at 11:43

No. Making of cloth is only perhaps 30,000 to 40,000 year old (History of clothing and textiles), and body coverings of any form, e.g. animal skins, only around 100,000 years old (based on body lice).

Females being smaller than males is much, much older than this. Chimpanzees, our closest relatives, similarly have smaller females (and don't dress in cloth); their line and our line separated around 4 million years ago. Our next closest relatives, the gorillas, have an even greater difference between the sexes, the females being half the size of the males. They separated from our line perhaps 6 to 8 million years ago. Further back, most all our anthropoid primate relatives also show smaller female size (but the most distant primates, like lemurs, do not). For more information see Sexual dimorphism in non-human primates.


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