Why do men have nipples?

Well, I can understand why women do, but men?? Were men breast feeders at one time, but gave it up because women were better?

As the body is developing in the womb, many of the processes that result in what we consider to be the gross gender characteristics of the body happen quite late on, by which time the nipples have already formed; they are a sort of ‘default’ feature that is only fully implemented in the female.

Yeah, it’s like the clitoris is a minature penis.

If you want to freak out and enlighten yourself a bit at the same time, do a Google search on “male lactation”.

This question is asked a lot. :smiley:

Here ya go.


You know, this morning at 4am I did a search on MEN and NIPPLES and came up with over 20 pages, looked thru the first 3 and gave up. ‘Nipples’ seems to be a popular word around here.

I shoulda looked at Cecil first, d’oh!
Maybe I’ll check out the male lactation after breakfast, thanks anyway Jovan.

Check out “gynecomastia” as well.

Men can even get breast cancer. It’s rare, but it does happen.

True. A Pastor at our church(male) died from breast cancer. Very sad.

So Adam, created in God’s image from dust, wouldn’t have had nipples. So the rest of us men, with our nipples, are not quite God’s image of perfection.

I knew there must be a reason why I never catch a break! :slight_smile:

To get them pierced!



Men have nipples because:

  1. Precisely half of our ancestors were women.

  2. It doesn’t hurt to have purely decorative body parts.

  3. They’re fun.


I know TWO men who have had to had growths removed as well.
I wonder how rare it actually is.

I am not sure I agree with that, esp since I think God is both male and female. I think Adam did have nipples.

Also, I would not consider male breast cancer to be rare, esp if you have traits to make it more likely.

Stephen Jay Gould addresses this in Bully For Brontosaurus, Norton, 1991 pg. 125-128 (paperback ed.).

The argument, in summary, is that the two sexes do not evolve separately. They are both based on one plan that expresses differently once gender factors take over. Males have nipples because females have nipples.

Gould points out the work of Dr. Dwight Davis, which argues that evolution works on embryonic growth fields which depend on a common set of genetic factors. If natural selection acts on an area that has the potential to develop a nipple, that area will yield nipples regardless of sex.

The ovaries of a woman and the testicles of a man are originally the same in the fetus. As mentioned previously the clitoris is just a rudimentary penis. This question just shows that the OP didn’t take many biology courses. :wink:

As a man who is an ardent fan of the female form, I heartily declare that there is nothing rudimentary about the clitoris.


Isnt it more accurate to say the penis is an oversized clitoris?

And does the scrotum correspond with the labia?

Griffin, are you sure that that a penis isn’t an enlarged clitoris?

I checked out that gynecomastia, and just had to report on some of my findings:

Carry on.

Considering one of our more prolific posters has “Nipples” as his location, I’m surprised you only got 20 pages!