Why Skinny Stays in the Picture

A study by evolutionary psychologist William Lassek has concluded, perhaps not surprisingly, that the more muscular a man is, the more sexual partners he has. So why haven’t skinny, fat, or average men been wiped out of the gene pool? One reason, according to Lassek, is that men with bigger muscles have to eat more to sustain themselves and have weaker immune systems. Advantage, skinny! [%comments]


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  1. Mike says:

    Does that hold true all the way up the continuum? What about that guy with the exploding arms? Something tells me he wasn’t pulling in the ladies left and right.

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  2. Holme says:

    “So why haven’t skinny, fat, or average men been wiped out of the gene pool?”

    Well, that’s like asking why there are poor men when wealth has been proven to raise you changes with the opposite gender. Many other variables than muscles and wealth determine your change of getting children so naturally there will always be different levels of income just like there will always be fat and skinny people.
    Even more so in the human world, where the overwhelming majority subscribe to the idea of monogamy thus leaving more women to the less fortunate men.

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  3. Hallgrims says:

    No Holme, it is nothing like that.

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  4. Mark T says:

    Generally agree with Holme. Would also point out that muscle men may be worse at getting into battles where they get killed – for example, having more sex partners might mean more conflicts with other muscly men over those partners. And as David showed Goliath the correlation between muscles and victory in battle is not perfect. Skinny men might have more developed bargaining skills that lead to positive sum outcomes vs zero sum battles.

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  5. Brian says:

    Isn’t the easiest explanation that fat or average men used to be muscular and then got fat or average? But got the girl before that happened?

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  6. Brian says:

    The phenotypic variation in human weight seen in today’s first world societies may be more a product of an abundance of food rather than genetic variation. The evolution of humans took place before fast food joints were on every corner.

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  7. Chris says:

    I recently heard a story about how smaller, weaker dung beetles can get more mating opportunities because they can dig a small tunnel to circumvent the larger dung beetle who is busy blocking his way, and thus sneak in for a quick encounter with the female on the other side. Thus answering the question: why are there still smaller dung beetles?

    Extrapolating to humans: perhaps large gym-rat males who are preoccupied at the health club leave their ladyfriends too open for overtures from skinny, less occupied suitors.

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  8. jimi says:


    Uhhh, I’m pretty sure God defeated Goliath, not David. David was a mule.

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