October 29, 2010

The Average World Citizen

I don't know any Dutch, so I'll have to rely on Google translate here, but a group of researchers(?) created the "average world citizen" by taking measurements from a variety of populations and weighting them based on population size, it seems. The facial reconstruction is interesting, although a bit dubious because I'd think that the epicanthic fold would figure in. And I question the point of collapsing all human variation (which exists for a reason) into an average. What annoys me most, though, is the headline (and someone can correct my translation if it's wrong) about the "average citizen" - who is, of course, male:


Or have I again spent too much time reading the Sociological Images posts about male as the default sex?

3 comments:

Lynn said...

and what is the average sex? (*the* average sex, not average sex.) some concepts are more easily defined than others.

Keith said...

This is a lesson in how the mean can be absolutely meaningless. :)

onix said...

wereldburger is what you could caption with earthling, so the citizensrights aspect is not there in dutch association (it is in the tradition tho). that besides you are right, it is also my first thought, why would it be a male.
(average earthling is also a woman) the method seems very rough also they multiplied the 'average chinese look' with the nr of chinese etc. because they wanted to really represent an average.
and how do you find the figures for that average chinese in the first place. i suspect research from the times of dubois were used.

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