If Scandinavians are highly neotenous based upon mutual sexual selection (Miller, 2000), with both sexes choosing mates exhibiting those blue-eyed, blond-haired, pale skin markers of a person able to thrive off dairy and sunlight (Harris, 1989), then one would also expect to see larger brains (Tobias, 1970) and a cooperative, care-based society (Eisler, 2007).  Long arms and legs can also go with a low-testosterone neotenous constellation.

Asian societies, specifically Chinese peoples, also exhibit neoteny (Montagu, 1989), with perhaps both sexes choosing small-sized mates to manage limited nourishment sources.  Female estrogen levels are low (Diamond, 1986) and left-handedness is low (Dawson, 1974), with the males’ testes size almost half of a Scandinavian population adjusted for size (Diamond, 1986).  These are all patrifocal markers.

Chinese populations mature far faster and reach puberty sooner (Eveleth & Tanner, 1976) than Northwest Europe populations, an acceleration consonant with a patrifocal frame, yet they exhibit neotenous or maturational-delayed features such as relatively larger brains and flat-faced, diminutive features.

I am hypothesizing that Asian populations that require large-scale, multilevel cooperation encourage the societal cooperation bonuses that come with neoteny, while small size and fast maturation are demanded by intense agrarian population concentrations.  In this highly patrifocal context requiring cooperative, neotenous characteristics, you get a dramatic drop in hormone levels, resulting in te females and TE males, shifted down to allow for cooperation between competing forces within a male-domination societal foundation. (To follow the series of pieces leading to this contribution, click here.)

Whereas in Scandinavia, with both males and females choosing neotenous features in each other based upon an ideal mate exhibiting the nutrient-absorbing markers of blond hair, blue eyes and light skin, their populations evolved in highly neotenous societal directions, culminating in today’s most cooperation-based industrialized societies, exhibiting what Eisler ( 2007) notes as extremely care-based cultures.

There is pattern here.  But I can’t quite tease out the effects of estrogen in Scandinavia, particularly with the female, or if there is a hormone-threshold shift as evidence suggests there is in Asia.  Are there folks following my ruminations over the last week that have a feeling for what I’m trying to get at?

Scandinavians and Asians are social structure archetypes, beautiful examples of derivations from the classic social structure norms.  The Asian paradigm is settling down to make sense after years of my being confused, though there are aspects that still befuddle me.  One can add estrogen to the equation while noting across-culture hormone thresholds make a difference.  There is a riddle in the Scandinavians ripe for picking.  The riddle is:  What is the hormonal constellation of the Scandinavian woman?  Males are likely low testosterone, low to high estrogen.  Females could be high testosterone, but they would seem less likely to exhibit the highly neotenous features.  Can the female be high in testosterone with all markers suggesting neoteny?  If so, what estrogen level most encourages this to work?  Are female Scandinavians Te?

If so, you have the opposite paradigm to the Asian female.  In Asia, you achieve a patrifocal culture lowering hormone thresholds, speeding up growth and lowering puberty while at the same time investing a host of neotenous characteristics to act as glue.  In Scandinavia, you have an emerging matrifocal culture, prolonged ontogenetic growth, later puberty and evidence of neoteny in both sexes, not just in the males, as is the case in classic matrifocal culture with hormonal constellations not seeming to easily support neoteny in both sexes.  The easy prediction is female tE, male tE.  But somehow I’m just not seeing that as the case.  Right now, it’s looking like Scandinavian female Te, male tE.

See http://www.humanevolution.net/a/asianoriental.html for excerpts noted in the citations above.


This entry was posted on Thursday, January 8th, 2009 at 8:13 am and is filed under Estrogen, Neoteny, Ontogeny, Sexual Selection, Social Structure, Society. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
11 Comments so far

  1. carlos on January 8, 2009 4:47 pm

    very interesting, this gives me alot of food for thought during the day

  2. john on June 12, 2009 11:56 pm

    Within the framework of your theory how would you explain the somewhat rapid changeover in Scandinavian culture that has occured in the last few centuries? How did the current social structure derive from what was the most Warrior oriented one in the middle ages? The Vikings were not noted for caregiving. I recall reading many years ago about the excavation of a cemetary in Iceland. The graves extended over several generations. Not a single male (rangeing in age from teens to sixties) had died from natural causes . Everyone showed signs of violent death. Is it possible that a testosterone driven culture can self destruct through “roid-rage” where the warrior population dies off thru internal conflict as well as external war and the system resets with low testosterone males now able to mate?

  3. Andrew on June 13, 2009 7:34 am

    Indeed, it seems paradoxical that Vikings 1000 years ago could transform into the highly cooperative societies of today. I have no answer.

  4. Jesus Christ the Jew on July 23, 2009 9:46 am

    Yo dude.
    Close but wrong.
    Be careful with the race-games, you’ll get burned. The world is turning towards war and racism both reverse and straight is increasing.
    I don’t really want to tell you the answer, since most scientists are idiots and haven’t figured it out yet, I don’t feel obliged to pike up–most scientists have s**t for brains.
    It’s obvious; generally in localities where there are ample resources and reduced competition (including in many ways, reduced cooperation–as in reduced societal pressure[can’t beleive you didn’t get even that far]) evolution speeds up.
    I.e. the question for you now fool, is to actually understand how other primates function within the context of neotonic development. It requires particular social conditions– play, as in absence of predators and absence of inter-male (testosterone) and inter-female (estrogen) competition with ample resources in order to lead to juvenile non-functional playful consciousness. This entails an evolutionary perspective distinct from Darwinism, which is one of the most pathetic and misleading theories in history–just take 15 seconds to study the formation of matter during star supernover and the big bang with half a brain and you’ll see that the increasing levels of complexity have nothing to do with ‘competition’ (which is usually, ACTUALLY, reductive of complexity, and complexity arises where resources increase).
    Name me one study where Greece and the Mediterranean people are racially profiled in these techniques. Any well-cultured man knows women from Greece and Italy have incredibly neotenized faces, some of the most in the world. It’s easy to study blacks and call them the devil compared to blondes, it’s harder to look at Aztecs, Egyptians, Siberians, etc, etc.
    RESOURCES + ABSENCE OF SOCIETAL PRESSURES = neoteny or human intelligence.
    Lower estrogen (here it comes) AND lower testosterone = YOUNGER!!!!
    SEXUAL DIMORPHISM is REDUCED by neoteny. Don’t just look at men, look at both men and women (fool again, the only reason men don’t highlight inter-female competition is because their reproductive strategy is to sleep around; they won’t cast female competition in a bad light since they can use it to their advantage, women on the other hand, do highlight it as well as male competition {notice?}).
    You’ve been stuck on the notion that females which are highly estrogen and low testosterone are neotenous. You are wrong. Low biochemicals in both sexes is the key–what has tricked you is that women are more neotenous and less dimorphic than men because their mating strategy is different.

    There’s some inter-male competition for you.
    Now sit back, think, and watch the entire world devolve into gorillas now that every resource in this world is mediated and disseminated by an extremely competitive hierarchy of whorish men and women who care none for child, earth, love, race or future.
    When the game got real intense (and the number of people with mental illness in dying white countries hit over 20%) two symbols came out to advocate opening up the entire class system to warfare; you were watching Ronald Reagan, I had my eyes on Margaret Tatcher.

    By the way, take a personality test; you’ll find your MBTI type as a male leftist and high SES with education will probably be ENFP or ENFJ.
    Your Big 5 personality traits; N-E+O+A-C-.

    Beleive it or not, you’re actually more male than the average male; but moderately high on neoteny. I estimate your racial heritage is; Germanic (mostly nordic (haplogroup I) with some southern german/italian (haplogroup R1a/J). Based on my analysis, you are most definately based in a colonial European country, and if not, may soon migrate there.


    By the way, I’m a celtic-nord with Greek and Russian heritage, I am extremely neotonic and dimorphic; my MBTI is INTP, which is the most childlike excluding ENTP.
    Just kidding around! Hope you enjoyed my post.
    And by the way, we are devolving, even Margulis doubts humans will survive 100 years!!!!!

    (I’m being intentionally insulting in order to prompt you to work harder so that I don’t have to ;).

  5. Keith on March 17, 2010 4:52 pm

    I would have to just say right away.
    I hold strong patriarchal beliefs.

    I had the chance to reflect on my desires in a sociological setting.

    They find that in societies that increase male on male competion in conjunction with female to female equality increases polygyny.

    To get the opposite effect.
    You increase female to female competition in conjunction with male to male equality increases monogyny.

    They find that generally speaking. No matter where the female was raised in socially.
    She will always opt for the more powerful and high status male.

    So the sociologists (especially the left brain males and the feminists)

    Emphasize that polygny is a society directed by powerful males who compete against other males.


    A society that has general inequality.
    Will generally create a society that has unchaste females…

    Which leads to my discovery.

    To enhance my patriarchal reality.
    I aim to replace old style polygny (Redneck, dogmatic, religion based, libertarian, free market loving fools burning oil and coworkers out in Utah, Iceland, Australia, Saudia Arabia)

    With the new style.

    Which is simply.
    Female to female equality.
    That is not homosexually oriented.

    Which serves this trait more?
    Neoteny or sexual dimorphism?

    Anyone intelligent, brave or concerned enough to give the answer?

    Right brain oriented males and left brain oriented females drive evolution more so than any other combination. (Two halves do not necessarily make a whole and we know that in labor specialization, so double Right brainers or double Left Brainers, are working too hard, and basically not efficient)
    Likewise Left brain males and Right brain females, have children with really small skulls.
    Generally inferior children.

    I am of Basque, Spanish, French, Irish, Enlgish, Norman (Dane), African, Chinese, Carribbean, Native American, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Sephardic Jewish, Moorish, Galician ancestry for the most part.

    I will not tell you to what degree.
    Cause I don’t know. I don’t have the 500 dollars for the DNA test right now.

    If we can figure out how to make females less jealous of other females we can do anything.

    I am serious.

  6. Vichy Fournier on May 20, 2011 7:54 am

    Just a note: while Scandinavians had a strong warrior ethos (as did, to a lesser extent, the rest of the Germanic peoples) they also exhibited highly cooperative structures of a liberal (in the classical European sense) type. Low taxes, low centralization, strong market integration and trade specialization. Despite their warrior ethos they were mostly cooperators of the commercial pattern, whereas the more ‘organized’ societies, such as Rome or modern Scandinavia, have a high degree of regimentation and bureaucracy that is ultimately based on coercive power.

    This still doesn’t explain the change, but it’s important to realize that the northern barbarians often exhibited high degrees of spontaneous order that their modern counterparts and more ‘civilized’ neighbours couldn’t dream of. Like the Greeks their capacity to rally for self defense without any compulsion or conscription was astounding.

  7. Keith on May 20, 2011 6:27 pm

    I am the same previous Keith who posted on March 17, 2010 4:52 pm.

    If we were to look at sociology and sexuality as a tetrad of base four. To give an analogy like the nucleotide bases in DNA.

    From the work of Marshall McLuhan the Laws of Media, every tetrad eventually flips into its opposite function.

    It is my belief that First technology flips, then eventually cultural information itself flips.

    We have traditionally assumed patriachries such as Japan turning into a dystopic culture where Mothers seduce their sons into incest and betrayal of the Father figure. Where men crossdress and seek to engage in fantasies with women prosthetic penises on a large scale.

    Yet, Scandinavia, is a generally assumed matrifocal culture, that is now expressing an emergent femininity that I think is becoming more apparent, because the men were nurtured enough in society to establish their Right Brain dominance over their environment.
    No, something more profound in female/male ying/yang relations.

    I am sorry, I snapped, its just when I tell people that I am a polygamist, I have to tell them I am not a Muslim beforehand.

    As if I can’t be a member of modern society and a practicing transhumanist and a polygamist as well.

    To give another point. In insects all occurences of POLYANDRY had MONANDRY written into the genetic code before hand.

    It must be more apparent, that what may free on individual to libertine behavior may also do so for the opposite sex. Just as one form of conservatism may also influence the other sex.

    Not only do we have to look at Maternal lineage and Paternal lineage, but also autosomes.

    That’s at least three different sets of information to look at.

  8. dietas, regimes para emagrecer, produtos naturais para emagrecer on November 9, 2011 8:59 pm

    dietas, regimes para emagrecer, produtos naturais para emagrecer…

    […]Asian-Scandinavian Paradox Continued | Neoteny, sexual selection, cause of autism, human evolution, social transformation, left organizing and internet activism – how they all connect[…]…

  9. Adrian on April 20, 2012 6:03 am

    Like Keith I am tolerant of polygamy. However I do not hold patriarchal views.
    Infact I think patriarchies foster the most intolerant and hypocritical views of sexuality.
    In a polygamous patriarchy men see women as their property.
    Men are allowed to be polygamous while women are not.
    A woman who steps out of their mold are punished for it.
    This is unacceptable! You should not take liberties that you wouldnt let others have.
    And when you put women in with the “others” the same rules do not apply. A person is an individual first and a gender second. They should be granted rights as an individual. And their gender should not be overlooked but not necessarily enforced one way or another.

    Also cooperation and vikings do not cancel eachother out.
    There is a common misconception that vikings were all warlike testosterone oozing individualists. Which they were to a degree but that only reinforces the need for a cooperative society. The viking society was an honour based warrior culture. Where you had to be careful not to step on anyones toes.
    The Swedish concept of lagom is said to be derived from the viking age. Where moderation is good so that everyone gets a piece. And no one would feel slighted and turn to violence. The vikings had alot of rules and regulations to limit bloodshed at home. The women had rights that were unusual at the time. Such as right to ownership. And also plotted intrigues and could influence political decisions.
    The celtic culture where also known as warlike. But was unusually egalitarian among the sexes. Relative egalitarianism has a long history in sweden.

    I wouldnt say that us scandinavians are more neotenous than others. I know blonde is a popular hair colour abroad but growing up in a land where natural blondeness is not at all unusual you see so many shapes. Being blonde doesnt necessarily make you attractive in the least. And Ive seen so many mannish or so and so looking blondes in my time that I do not find it more appealing than other hair coulours. That and adults look like adults just like in the rest of the western world. It doesnt even compare to some asian cultures.

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