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Can men and women evolve separately? © Getty

Can men and women evolve separately?

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There are a few evolutionary differences between men and women.

Asked by: Lisa Milne (age 14), Oxford


They have evolved separately, which is why the two sexes are physically different.

Evolution has favoured men who have lots of children, so their biological contribution to reproduction is just a few millilitres of cheaply produced sperm. Women, on the other hand, need to supply literally all the energy and nutrients required to build a baby from scratch and feed it, so they’ve evolved a uterus, placenta and milk-producing breasts.

However, there is a limit to how far the sexes can diverge. Men and women only differ by one chromosome – the Y chromosome – and all the physical and hormonal differences between the sexes ultimately have to fit into that one chromosome.

What's the difference between men and women? © Getty Images


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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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