considered an attribute in man or woman / men or women [singular or plural]

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Shooting Stars

Senior Member
Chinese
In appearance, the gods were supposed to resemble mortals, whom, however, they far surpassed in beauty, grandeur, and strength; they were also more commanding in stature, height being considered by the Greeks an attribute of beauty in man or woman.(Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome)

Could you tell me why the nouns are used in the singular rather than in the plural?
I googled and got the following sentences similar in structure to the above sentence, in which the plural nouns are used.

Some physical features are attractive in both men and women...
It therefore makes sense that men are attracted to the features in women which signal youthfulness...(both from Physical attractiveness - Wikipedia)

Thank you.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Man or woman" is simply a more abstract way of saying the same thing. It looks on "man" and "woman" as representing types, rather than as individual men and women.
     
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