Anthropology Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 11 - Question 2
90 Days Anthropology Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 21-Jan-2019
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21-Jan-2019 - Question 2
Discuss somatotypes. 200 words. 10 marks.
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Physique, according to Eiben (1972) is the morphological institution of an adult which is formed by the interaction of genetic makeup and environmental efforts. To be simple, physique is phenotype.
Sheldon (1940) formulated a method to quantify human physique which was called ‘somatotyping’. According to it ‘somatotypes are morpho-phenotypic ranges along constantly recognizable characteristics and are the functional end products of the whole genetic and development complex.’ It suggested that each individual can be categorised with somatotypes having three numericals. First numerical is for ‘endomorphy’. Second one is for ‘mesomorphy’ and the third one is for ‘ectomorphy’. For instance, 711 as extreme endomorph, 171 as extreme mesomorph and 117 as extreme ectomorph.
Endomorphy : reflects general softness and roundness of the body. Abdomen predominates over thorax.
Mesomorphy : represents general massiveness and sturdiness of the body. Muscles are well developed including thorax muscles.
Ectomorphy : reflects thin and lean body with weak muscles.
Sheldon’s method of somatotyping was criticised for being subjective. The method was developed on white males. Hence, can’t be applied to females. As a result, Heath-Carter method of somatotyping erupted to examine the criticism of former.
Heath-Carter method (1967) of somatotyping provides evaluation in objective manner at any given point of time. It describes three components of somatotypes in a slightly different manner.
Endomorphy : refers to relative fatness and relative leanness of an individual.
Mesomorphy: refers to relative musculo-skeletal development per unit height of an individual. It includes lean body mass.
Ectomorphy : refers to relative linearity of individual physique. It is closely related to height/cube root of weight ratios.
In this method, the observed ratings are 1-15 for endomorphy, 1-12 for Mesomorphy and 0.5-9 for ectomorphy.
Somatotyping has application in various fields like anthropology of sports, performance in sports, nutritional anthropology, general fitness and well being of the individuals in the society etc. Based upon somatotypic evaluation it becomes easy to provide training, exercise and carryout other steps in order to correct and amend the human physique as required.