Why were men given larger rations than women during the arrivals to Australia?

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There are a number of possible reasons for this.

One reason is that women were not considered to be able to work as well as men.  Therefore, they did not, it was thought, need as much food.

A second reason is that the men were seen to be more important.  This is related to the first reason.  Since the men were believed to do more work (and were therefore more important to the survival of the penal colony) they were given more food.

Finally, men are, after all, generally larger in size than women are.  This would have provided another rationale for giving them more food.

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