Ethnology and cultural anthropology
Semenova O.V., Adam Y.I. —
Speech and sexual dimorphism: the history of the issue in the light of modern theories of the origin of speech and experimental data
// Man and Culture.
– 2023. – № 6.
– P. 1 - 18.
DOI: 10.25136/2409-8744.2023.6.68961 EDN: ZLFFIR URL: https://en.nbpublish.com/library_read_article.php?id=68961
In this theoretical article, the authors turn to the analysis of studies explaining the origin and revealing the functions and meaning of human oral speech within the framework of an evolutionary approach. First of all, the authors are interested in the influence of sexual selection on the development of verbal skills in different age and gender groups. In this regard, the data of the history of the human life cycle are of particular interest, which indicate that the mastery of language as a tool for influencing and manipulating the opinions of others approaches an advanced level of proficiency only at the time of puberty, and speech, thus, begins to play an important role in intersex competition. Rapidly developing with the onset of puberty, the ability to performative vivid performances, to defend their position, as well as to conduct debates in public, apparently, can be guided by the forces of sexual selection, and therefore, they should manifest themselves more clearly in men than in women. It is assumed that verbal mastery can serve as a means of actively attracting attention for the purpose of self-promotion and improving the social status of the speaker. The methodological basis of our work was largely the analysis of ethnographic sources. In the article, the authors cite extensive ethnographic material confirming the connection of high social status with oratorical abilities. The authors also turn to the latest research that analyzes the differences in performative speech between men and women. Experimental work shows that in a conversation with an attractive woman, men tend to be more creative in choosing words and expressions. Some researches consider the connection of various aspects of speech with the attractiveness of the speaker, his masculinity and adaptability. Of great interest are studies studying the relationship between musical abilities and attractiveness, as well as works analyzing the articulatory features of oral speech and their connection with belonging to a certain social environment or social class. All the features of speech given in the review could most likely have been formed by the pressure of the forces of sexual selection. In this regard, the study of sexual dimorphism seems to be one of the most important directions in the research of performative speech.
voice pitch, masculinity, maturation, sexual selection, speech, language, life history, human evolution, leadership, eloquence