Scientist who thought women were like apes

The wikipedia article on Oxford anthropologist Arthur Thomson (1858-1935) notes that he's best remembered for formulating Thomson's Nose Rule, which states that ethnic groups from cold climates tend to have thinner noses than groups from hot climates.

Apparently he's not remembered for his "Women Are Like Apes" theory, which he presented to a meeting of the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1927. The basis of this theory was that, "woman's legs are usually shorter, and her arms longer, than man's" — and this, Thomson felt, made women more ape-like.

I was curious whether Thomson was actually correct about female body proportions, and after some googling I've concluded that he probably was — at least about women (on average) having shorter legs as a proportion of their total height than men do. See, for instance, this article by a designer of bicycles for women, which says that's the case.

Harrisburg Telegraph - Oct 5, 1927

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 25, 2016
Category: Science, Anthropology, 1920s, Women





Comments
Actually, in the art I've looked at, and the actual photographs I've studied, it seems that generally those proportions are reversed. Women are generally thought as 'leggier' than men, and men tend to have a more elongated torso to compensate. I could be wrong, but that's what I've always had described to me.
Posted by Alassirana in Lake Stevens on 06/25/16 at 05:18 PM
As to Alassirana's comment: if you consider the ratio of height at the waist to total height, barefoot women have about 2/3 (~67%) of their height below the waist, while for men it is more like 3/5 (60%). If a woman wears high-heel shoes, this proportion is increased, making her look more feminine.

Also, men are usually hairier (i.e., more ape-like) than women.
Posted by Joshua Zev Levin, Ph.D. in Marlton, NJ on 06/25/16 at 05:41 PM
Sounds like the sour grapes theory of a man who has been turned down a lot.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/25/16 at 11:30 PM
I got called a big ape a lot.

Especially when I got turned down.
Posted by Harvey on 06/26/16 at 05:37 PM
Aww Henry, you're a cutie!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/27/16 at 09:54 PM
Everyone knows men like to monkey around more than women.
Posted by GFinKS in Near OZ on 07/05/16 at 04:22 PM
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