Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Sex Differences in Variance Traits

  • Satoshi KanazawaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_34-1



Members of one sex (male or female) have significantly greater dispersion or variability on a trait than members of the other sex. They contrast with sex differences in the mean of a trait.


In statistics, the mean (or median or mode) is a measure of central tendency, whereas the variance(or standard deviation) is a measure of dispersion. Scientists commonly study mean differences between groups, when one group has a higher (or lower) mean level of a trait than (an)other group(s). As a result, most statistical techniques and tests of statistical significance involve the mean. It is less common for scientists to study group differences in variances, and there are fewer statistical techniques and tests of statistical significance that involve the variance. Nevertheless, scientists sometimes focus on group differences in variances because they are of...


Sexual Dimorphism Fitness Variance Female Reproductive Success Reproductive Variance Male Reproductive 
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK