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Why Must Men Wear Pants?

• July 12, 2012 • 2:47 PM

If you’re a male who has ever lounged in a bathrobe, relaxed in a kimono or, for whatever reason, slipped on a skirt, you know the truth: pants are stupid. Why are we consigned to spend our days in these anatomically inhibiting, temperature boosting vestments?

Blame horses, says Peter Turchin, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Connecticut. “If we go back to the ‘Cradle of the Western Civilization,’ the Mediterranean region 2,000 years ago, we will find that none of the civilized people there (notably the Greeks and the Romans, but also Phoenicians and Egyptians) wore pants,” writes Turchin. It was only when soldiers began regularly riding horses that leg-baring garments became a problem. As a result, “wearing pants became associated with high-status men, and gradually spread to other males.”

And as Slate’s Daniel Lametti points out, today’s fashionably tight-fitting jeans are only making matters worse.

Vince Beiser
Vince Beiser is an award-winning journalist based in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter @vincelb.

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