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What Is Manspreading? Why Do Men Do It?

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

Reasons why men take up extra room when they sit down?

Manspreading Man Showing Off Legs

What is manspreading?

Manspreading is a term used to describe the way in which some men sit particularly in public with their legs spread wide apart. Both the position and the term have sparked widespread criticism and debate online. With some saying it is a physical necessity while others say it is ruse and boils down to egotism.

The Oxford Dictionary added the word "manspreading" in August 2015, describing it as: "The practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats."

So why do men do it and is there a science behind it?

Manspreading Socker Players

As we have mentioned above some have argued that the seated position is a physical necessity for men so they say the reasons for manspreading, include accommodating the testicles, shoulder-hip proportion, others have said it displays sexual attractiveness, putting the family jewels on display so to speak. Continue reading on below to find out more...

Manspreading Male

Physical necessity for men

It was reported after several medical studies that the seating position "manspreading" is not a rude behaviour as suggested but could in fact be a matter of physicality, rather than just sheer egotism of men. “The overall width of the pelvis in men is relatively greater than in females and the angle of the femoral neck is also more acute. These factors could play a role in making a position of sitting with the knees close together less comfortable in men, it’s possibly physically painful for some men to close their legs. They go on to report that they suspect most men would suggest the reason for adopting the more spread posture in sitting would be the avoidance of testicular compression from the thigh muscles.

Hip-shoulder ratio

One of the data sets studied also showed that the average man’s shoulders were far wider (28 per cent wider) than their hips so even if a man sits on the subway with his knees together, and other passengers’ crowd in closely on both sides of him, then his torso likely won’t fit on the top half of the seat if his knees are positioned less than shoulder width apart."

Displays of sexual attractiveness

A post-doctorate researcher also published a study which found that spreading the legs and arms is more sexually attractive when males do it. Using photographs, they found that images of men spreading out got 87 per cent of interest among female viewers so based on the results gathered, it was evident that manspreading can dramatically increase a single males chances of making a successful initial romantic connection, as he would draw more sexual interest" she said.

Manspreading Man In Public

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