Sociology Index

SOMATOTYPES

Somatotypes refers to body types and behind this idea lies the belief of early criminologists that there were distinctive body types and these types called somatotypes were associated with personality and temperament. It was believed that the mesomorph with a well-built, muscular body (note the sexist connotation of this) was associated with aggressive personality, insensitive to pain and tended to act impulsively. Somatotyping is a method of description and assessment of the body on three shape and composition scales: endomorphy somatotypes (relative fatness), mesomorphy somatotypes (relative musculoskeletal robustness), and ectomorphy somatotypes (relative linearity).

Somatotyping : Development and Applications (Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology) by J. E. Lindsay Carter, Barbara Honeyman Heath, C. G. Nicholas Mascie-Taylor, R. A. Foley, Nina Jablonski, Karen Strier, Michael Little, Kenneth M. Weiss (Editors)
Review: Somatotyping : Development and Applications is a valuable discussion of the somatotype concept and an excellent compilation of available somatotype data.

It should be among the reference books of human biologists and sport scientists." Robert M. Malina, American Journal of Human Biology.
Book Description: The first major account of the somatotyping field in over thirty years, this volume presents a comprehensive history of somatotyping, beginning with W.H. Sheldon's introduction to the method in 1940. Somatotyping is a method of description and assessment of the body on three shape and composition scales: endomorphy (relative fatness), mesomorphy (relative musculoskeletal robustness), and ectomorphy (relative linearity). The book reviews present knowledge of somatotypes around the world, how they change with growth, aging and exercise, and the contributions of genetics and environment to the rating. Also reviewed are the relationships among somatotypes and sport, physical performance, health and behavior.