Are Asians Less Masculine?

I have heard many possible reasons on the rarity of the AMWF couples, some are true, most are speculations. Here are some of the interesting ones.

Asian men have less testosterone?

In one Quora discussion someone presented “scientific” data on the levels of testosterone (male hormone) in different racial groups. He argued that Asian male have on average 10% less testosterone than white male. And black male have 10% more than white male on average. This seems to be reasonable – the male hormone is responsible for many male features, like the facial/body hair, the facial shape etc. So I did a bit of homework to verify this claim. (As a scientist, you verify before you believe.) Guess what? There is no clear evidence that testosterone is different among racial groups! One report even found that Asians had higher testosterone level than white or black.

It seems to me a fake reason someone coined to explain the Asian men’s physical (un)attractiveness.

We differ in our appearance due to a few genes (less than 0.01% genes are different between racial groups). And there is no biological ground to differentiate race groups. Race is only a social concept.

Another interesting fact I found was that the genes for blonde hair appeared around 11,000 years ago. This was a very recent event in human evolution. And scientists suggest that it was very likely due to the lack of sun light in Northern Europe, and human need to have sufficient Vitamin D synthesized in body. Biologically, people with blonde hair are not healthier or stronger.

Is Asian culture more feminine?

I read this one on Speaking of China blog. One of the comments to the rarity of AMWF discussion says, Asian/Chinese culture is more feminine, so it makes women more attractive and men less attractive. The culture’s dimension has been a very interesting topic for me. So I revisited the book “Cultures and organizations” (by G. Hofstede) as I could not remember where China was in the masculinity scale. So here is the result: China- score 66, rank Nr. 11-13; The Netherlands – score 14, rank nr. 72. China is far more masculine than The Netherlands!!

And let’s check the definition of culture masculinity to make sure we are looking at a relevant case:

“A society is called masculine when emotional gender roles are clearly distinct: men are supposed to be assertive, tough and focused on material success, whereas women are supposed to be more modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life.”

Again, it is wrong to say that Chinese culture is less masculine. But… wait, why do Western people always have the impression that Chinese men behave a bit girly? Well, I think that is not the cultural masculinity. That is the reflection of the underlying value in Asians. I think Asian cultures often do not encourage the bold, pushy, dominant behavior. Perhaps some Western people interpret that as lack of masculinity.

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4 thoughts on “Are Asians Less Masculine?

  1. This is an excellent article Wang Jia! Thank you for your research and verification. Im wondering then what we can do to help change western cultural values to more asian type values? Or whether an asian male should adopt western values or maybe balance both. Also, maybe if you can do a study as to why there is this stereotype or belief that white males are taller in general. This is excellent news that asian males are equally if not more masculine from a biological and cultural standpoint!

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    • Hi, thanks for the comment! In my view stereotyping has many reasons behind. 2 of the most important is media (like Hollywood movies) and history (West is stronger). As to the believe white males are taller – true to some extend (you know I live in the Netherlands:) Check out my post “Too Tall?”

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