In 2015 manspreading became such a nuisance that the MTA began posting signs warning subway riders not to do it, striking fear into the hearts of men everywhere. Perhaps fed up with this posture persecution, economist Ash Bennington tapped a data scientist to prove that manspreading is less of a douchey choice than it is a physiological necessity. Suuuuuure it is.
Mark Skinner analyzed three data sets to try to determine the root cause of manspreading. He found that because of the way a man is built, with his shoulders generally much broader than a woman’s, spreading his legs becomes a necessity for his torso to fit comfortably on the seat. Further number-crunching found that “an adaptive benefit for manspreading may be to avoid collisions in the aisles on crowded trains,” implying that men manspread to avoid fights. A brief calculation that I just did in my head found that both of these arguments are dumb.
The study did result in another finding perhaps not anticipated by its authors: Men will do literally anything to avoid changing their behavior, including running complex data science experiments to justify it.