Postures of Female and Male

By Xah Lee. Date:
A online ad appearing at on 2010-04-16. The ad points to

My point in showing this ad is that i had the idea to collect ads that show the relationship of the sexes. Majority of ads, show attractive female (e.g. as opposed to attractive male). And, this heroic male holding a unconscious female is a common motif. They are everywhere, especially in cover arts for comics, movie posters. Or, typically the female kneels, sits, besides a outstanding bulky hero.

(not sure if there's a name for this motif, but a similar concept is Damsel in distress.)

It would be fruitful, to take a survey, of collecting thousands of cover artworks that primarily feature a female and a male. Then, remove the background, color, faces, hair, and body shapes, so it is simply a skeletal outline of 2 human bodies, showing their posture and relative position to each other. Then, either by human animals or computer analysis, i think one can usually easily tell which one is male and female.

The point of this study is that, it can give us some insight about the relation of male and female human animals, thru their postures and gestures when together.

Such study can easily be broadened. Instead of surveying art covers, we survey all common photos taken by average people. (e.g. thru online personal photo sites such as flikr) This way, the result gives us a definitive characteristics of postures of sexes and their posture proximity relationship. And thru the postures, it has connection to psychology, and of course the physiology, of the sexes.

More broadly, such study can be categorized by culture. For example, such survey of photos of North American people would certainly differ from Asian people, and certainly different from Middle East people.

Due to tech advances, digital cameras, and photos sites are increasing by some exponential rate, and as well as image analysis software (such as face recognition and place recognition). I'm certain, that studies similar to the above would take place in the next decade. Though, in my mind i felt that the result of this study seem obvious as to not warrant the time and effort.

internet self-portraits by gender
Internet Self-Portraits by Gender. This illustration is circulating on the internet around 2011.