The research involved both male and female athletes. From the PNAS paper:

"The sighted-athlete sample included 87 competitors (42 winners, 45
losers; 46% female) from 36 nations. Twenty-two of these individuals were
photographed in more than 1 match (e.g., semifinals and finals), producing a
total of 111 match winners and losers (58 winners, 53 losers; 43% female).
blind sample included 53 competitors (30 winners, 23 losers; 23% female)
20 nations."


On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 1:56 PM, Mandi Smallhorne <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

>  And is this the same for both genders?
> Mandi
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Tuesday, August 12, 2008 6:12 PM
> *Subject:* Phelps' victory dance is innate, scientists say
> aug12,0,1564992.story
> From the Los Angeles Times
> *Michael Phelps' victory dance is innate, scientists say*
> A study finds that blind athletes strike the same exuberant poses as their
> sighted counterparts -- as do other primates.
> By Denise Gellene
> Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
> August 12, 2008
> Chimps do it. Gorillas do it. Michael Phelps does it too.
> The exuberant dance of victory -- arms thrust toward the sky and chest
> puffed out at a defeated opponent -- turns out to be an instinctive trait of
> all primates -- humans included, according to research released Monday.
> Scientists from the University of British Columbia and San Francisco State
> University looked at thousands of photographs of judo matches taken during
> the 2004 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games in Athens, for such classic
> in-your-face victory moves as clenched fists, thrown-back heads and
> outstretched arms.
> The images of the 140 blind and sighted athletes from 37 countries revealed
> that Paralympic athletes blind from birth struck the same triumphant stance
> as sighted Olympic athletes. Since the blind athletes could not have learned
> the victory dance by watching others, the scientists concluded that the
> behavior was innate.
> They found that the dance was the same for all, regardless of what culture
> or country they came from.
> This display of human pride and exuberance -- witnessed by millions when
> swimmer Phelps and teammates won the men's 400-meter freestyle relay for the
> U.S. on Sunday -- closely resembles the dominance displays of chimps and
> monkeys, which also feature outstretched arms and exaggerated postures,
> researchers said.
> The animal world is filled with inflated displays of superiority, noted
> Daniel M.T. Fessler, a UCLA anthropologist not involved in the research.
> Birds puff themselves up and cats arch their backs to make themselves look
> bigger and scarier to adversaries, he said.
> Jessica L. Tracy, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia and
> lead author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of
> Sciences, said that the hangdog look of losers also turns out to be
> instinctive.
> Blind athletes across all cultures slumped their shoulders and narrowed
> their chests, a posture that signals shame in humans and submission in other
> primates. Sighted athletes from most parts of the world did the same.
> But the researchers unexpectedly found that sighted athletes from
> individualistic societies, such as in the U.S. and Western Europe, tended to
> put on a brave front, outwardly appearing to stand tall in the face of
> defeat and shame, the report said.
> Tracy speculated that the athletes were intentionally hiding their feelings
> -- consciously overriding their innate urge to signal defeat -- because
> losing is so stigmatized in their cultures.
> "We have been taught that even if we screw up in life, to hide it," she
> said.
> It's just like politics in the West, she added. "It's not OK to say, 'Hey,
> I was wrong.' "
> [log in to unmask]
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