Total body size is shown to have a substantial effect on the expression of sexual dimorphism in subcutaneous fat, body segment volume and limb muscularity in 31 male and 64 female subjects from 18 to 29 years of age. As indicated by analysis of covariance, height and frame width combined had the greatest influence on sex differences in fatness, volume and muscularity, while height alone had the least influence. After correction for height and frame width, 9 of 16 body segments were from 0.4 to 40.2% larger in female subjects, all 17 skinfolds were from 18.2 to 67.5% thicker in the females, and all 4 limb muscle circumferences were from 5.8 to 20.8% greater in male subjects. In general, size correction most strongly influenced sexual dimorphism in trunk fatness, trunk and thigh volume and upper arm muscularity. These results indicate that simple measures of sexual dimorphism such as stature fail to encompass the variability of sex differences in regional anatomy, and in fact contribute to that variability.
Bailey, Stephen M. and Katch, Victor L.
"The Effects of Body Size on Sexual Dimorphism in Fatness, Volume and Muscularity,"
3, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol53/iss3/7