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Wednesday, November 22, 20061164221700

The Korean Hive?

Kyungjunyo. (2006). Asians' lower sexual dimorphism: the main reason for interracial marriage amongst Asian women?. Kyungjunyo's Xanga Site. Web Site: http://www.xanga.com/kyungjunyo/548957287/asians-lower-sexual-dimorphism-the-main-reason-for-interracial-marriage-amongst-asian-women.html.

Richardson. (2006). Height Differences in North and South Koreans. Retrived November 22, 2006, from DPRK Studies. Web Site: http://www.dprkstudies.org/2006/11/20/height-differences-in-north-and-south-koreans/.

Wilson, E.O. & Holldobler, B. (2005). Eusociality: Origin and Consequences. PNAS 102(38): 13367-13371 (from tdaxp).

E.O. Wilson on insects:

In eusociality, an evolutionarily advanced level of colonial existence, adult colonial members belong to two or more overlapping generations, care cooperatively for the young, and are divided into reproductive and nonreproductive (or at least less-reproductive) castes.


When in evolution does eusociality become irreversible? We infer that this comes very early in the evolution of that condition, in particular when an anatomically distinct worker caste first appears, hence when a colony can most meaningfully be called a superorganism. Three lines of solitary halictine bees and one of allodapine apid bees are known to have originated from primitively eusocial lines, in which the worker caste was not yet anatomically distinct (14, 15). In contrast, not a single such reversal is known among the >11,000 described species of ants (family Formicidae) or 2,000 described termites (order Isoptera).


A second phenomenon possibly biased by relatedness and established in the later, irreversible stage of eusocial evolution is policing, the use of harassment or selective egg removal to restrict reproduction to the reproductive individual. Kin selection has been strongly indicated as a binding force in one species of social wasps, where policing decreases with the relatedness of the workers (30). On the other hand, the role of kin selection has been eliminated altogether in favor of group selection in the Cape race of the honey bee (31) and several species of ponerine and formicine ants (32-36).

Richardson on Koreans

Height statistics for 1,075 North Korean defectors ranging in age from 20 to 39 were compiled by the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, while equivalent South Korean statistics were obtained by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Both organizations collected the information in 2005. The results should not be surprising, unless it’s the fact that the differences aren’t even more pronounced:


South Korean anthropologists who measured North Korean refugees here in Yanji, a city 15 miles from the North Korean border, found that most of the teenage boys stood less than 5 feet tall and weighed less than 100 pounds. In contrast, the average 17-year-old South Korean boy is 5-feet-8, slightly shorter than an American boy of the same age.

The height disparities are stunning because Koreans were more or less the same size — if anything, people in the North were slightly taller — until the abrupt partitioning of the country after World War II.

E.O. Wilson on insects and humans:

If the conclusions drawn here about eusociality in insects and other arthropods are correct, they could have implications for advanced social behavior outside the arthropods. Rarity and the preeminence of group selection in unusual environments that favor cooperation are shared by the bathyergid rodents, the only highly eusocial phylad known in the vertebrates. Rarity of occurrence and unusual preadaptations characterized the early species of Homo and were followed in a similar manner during the advancement of the ants and termites by the spectacular ecological success and preemptive exclusion of competing forms by Homo sapiens.

If this seems a little speculative and unlikely, read below for something nearly inevitable about the evolutionary future of the Korean race


Asian men and Asian women are clearly less different, physically, than the men and women of other races. This is trivial in an Asian-only society, but it makes Asian men less attractive in the context of a multiracial society that includes white men who are taller and more muscular on average (though most of the white men that Asian women date are unathletic and below average in height).

Intellectually, it also seems that we are less dimorphic sexually. I'm too lazy to try to dig actual facts up, but anecdotally, there are quite a few high-performing Asian women at all levels of academia and in all the respected professions, and although there are more high-performing Asian men than women, the difference doesn't appear to be as large as it is amongst whites. Women tend to look for partners who are smarter, who earn more money, and who are seen as leaders, and so this distinction will also harm Asian men in a multiracial society.

Because of epigentic factors, the effects of starvation among North Koreans will last generations even if the environment was made identical. As that chance of a rapproachment are increasingly unlikely (South Korea aiming to make the north something more like a colony than an incorporated part of Greater Korea), it makes sense that the effects of starvation, poor diet, and other ills will last on the Korean pennensyla for centuries.

If Kyungjonyo's theory about high rates of oriental-female/non-oriental-male miscegenation as a result in sexual dimoprhism is correct, once unification does occur we should see centuries of assortive mating between relatively short and unintelligent northern Korean females and relatively relatively tall and smart southern Korean males. Rates of interbreeding should be particularly high because Koreans from both sides speak a similar language, have similar names, and (aside from the heritable effects of starvation) similar appearances. This essentially amounts for selection for southern Korean men and northern Korean women, and against selection for southern Korean women and northern Korean men.

Because of a high degree of racial homogenity before the division of Korea, the Pyongyang and Seoul governments have been running perhaps the greatest epigenetic experiment in the history of the world.

12:55 Posted in Korea, Science | Permalink | Comments (5)


Kyungjunyo: "I'm too lazy to try to dig actual facts up,"

Well that's the key, isn't it. Feed Asians peanut butter (mmm protein) starting from when they're four years old, like Americans do, and see if their average height goes up. It will.

Oh, and tell Tony Jaa (Thai) he's not "physically impressive," or Jet Li, or Lee Young Pyo, or Ahn Jung Hwan (Lee and Ahn are South Korean footballers).

From my own anecdotal evidence, growing up in a suburban high school with a lot of Korean and Chinese immigrants and going to a college with similar demographics, Asian guys hooked up with white girls just as much as the other way around (but not as much as Asian guys and girls hooking up together).

Posted by: a517dogg | Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Aside from the effects of mass starvation in the DPRK, I had thought Koreans were relatively larger in terms of aggregate Asian mean, due to descent from Tungus invaders from North Central Asia.

Posted by: mark safranski | Thursday, November 23, 2006

So do you actually predict a eusocial human society forming? Do you think that's possible?

It's a facinating idea. I read a novel by Stephen Baxter last year which contained that kind of speculation.

Posted by: Phil (Pacific Empire) | Thursday, November 23, 2006

I dimly recall from my bioanthropology undergrad days a similar difference in growth between pre-WW2 and post-WW2 Japan. As I recall, the research concluded two factors: nutrition, and Westernization, specifically, chairs, and postulated that children who sit on the floor with their legs folded under them have less femur growth than children who sit in chairs.

Sorry, no citations. That was, er, thirty years ago.

Posted by: rightwingprof | Friday, November 24, 2006

The comments for this thread are fascinating! I love being a blogger because of the interesting takes & perspective of others.

My initial purpose in writing this post was to highlight the ghastly effects of divided Korea on the Korean people. We are seeing a weird science experiment whose purpose, so far as the current, Leftist government in Seoul is concerned, will reside in worker castes that will be anatomically identifiable for generation. Interestingly, if Korea unifies rapidly, we will see another sort of behavior: large degree of intermarriage between North Korean women and South Korean men because of the greater sexual dimorphism.

Now, on to comments:


Distributions are often described in terms of standard deviation (spread) of mean (average), but obviously there's a lot of overlap. Still, the broader point about miscegenation and sexual dimoprhism seems to hold: among most groups, Asian females are more likely to intermarry than Asian males. [1]


Curse you for introducing me to interesting new scientific fields! :-) [2]


I don't think we will be truly eusocial (evolution takes a loooooooooong time to make those sort of changes), but we have some species-features you would expect from a population that has experienced some group selection.

Significant changes in the human genome seem more likely to come from genetic engineering, a la The Stone Dogs [3], at least within the next few thousand years.


Factoring that in, you should also see the effects of desk work v. field work in the Koreas, too. Very interesting!

[1] http://www.asian-nation.org/interracial2.shtml
[2] http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/040405fa_fact?fact/040405fa_fact
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Domination

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Friday, November 24, 2006

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