View Full Version : Why do men have nipples?
11-13-2001, 06:36 PM
Do other male mammals have nipples? Were they useful for something one day? Evolutionary holdover? What?
11-13-2001, 06:39 PM
11-13-2001, 06:40 PM
The master speaks: Why do men have nipples? (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_093.html)
And yes, other male mammals have nipples.
11-13-2001, 07:21 PM
ever heard of tit rings?
think guys put them there because they shine pretty?
turn off the lights, take off your shirt and, uh, experiment awhile.
doubt you'll need to ask this question again.
11-13-2001, 08:08 PM
Sorta unrelated but in the same vein, the clitoris is an underdeveloped penis (or for the feminists out there, the penis is an overdeveloped clitoris).
11-14-2001, 12:40 AM
All embryos start out as female. The male distinctions happen later in the embryos development, ie., such as the clitorus developing into a penis, etc. If you want more information, you can find it.
11-14-2001, 12:52 AM
Men have nipples because women need them, women have orgasms because men need them. Both are examples of non-adaptive traits. Stephen J. Gould covers this in a Natural History essay superbly titled "Male Nipples and Clitoral Ripples." It can be found in book form in the collection Bully for Brontosaurus,
11-14-2001, 12:52 AM
Males, like me BTW, have them because there's no advantage to not having them. That's how evolution works: Unless there's an active environmental factor selecting against a trait, the trait can, and probably will, persist. I imagine that at base, it's like what msquestion said: We're all the same at the embryonic stage, and we only change as we become fetuses and then infants. There's simply no reason for the process to remove the nipples from male babies.
It's kinda scary when you realize that the same logic applies to the appendix, a major disease vector. Apparently, not enough of our ancestors died of appendicitis young enough (that is, before boffing others and spreading the genes) to select out the appendix genes.
11-14-2001, 02:42 AM
Actually, i believe it is a mating tactic. It basically goes like this: the male pulls his shirt off in front of the female and says, "See, i've got nipples too and i'm not hiding them!" If the male is lucky, the female will respond by pulling her shirt off. Once this happens, the couple will often spawn. At least from what i've seen at Mardi Gras.
"I am always reading immoral books on the sly, and then selfishly trying to prevent other people from having the same wicked good time." -- Mark Twain
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