General Question

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

From an evolutionary standpoint, why do armpits have hair?

Asked by toomuchcoffee911 (6912 points ) December 2nd, 2009

They don’t need warmth, they don’t need protection from the sun, and it’s a bitch to shave. What happened that made armpits hairy?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

buckyboy28's avatar

It is to wick up some of the moisture from your armpits.

deni's avatar

we were covered in hair and the parts that were dark and damp stayed hairy because….dark and damp places need hair? to suck up the moisture, like @buckyboy28 said? yeah, thats my guess.

editingdiva's avatar

My understanding is that it may have been a protective growth and also a “catch-all” for pheromones. Anything that caused them to reproduce makes me happy.

erichw1504's avatar

Back in the caveman days, the more armpit hair a male had, the more attractive he was to the females.

faye's avatar

@erichw1504 And you got this from caveman esquire?!!

oratio's avatar

I suspect that one of it is for scent. We develop these attributes during puberty. Well, we are animals, and extremely sexually active compared to other mammals. This, and the hairy faces of men is also a sign of sexual maturity.

AstroChuck's avatar

So French women can feel like they’re French women.

Mamradpivo's avatar

I think it’s a relic. Perhaps in another 15,000 years, humans won’t have any.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Ah yes! Pheremones

Sonnerr's avatar

I would say that the answers stating that one of the reasons would be for scent that would attract the opposite sex. Another reason might be to cause sweat glands to exrete fluids and pheromones. And it might be a genetic abnormality that hasn’t been erased yet. Think of how a yeti would have hair all over its body. After all these millenia the hair has evaporated so to speak. Now we only have it at the top… but that sounds improbable.

Jeruba's avatar

The question isn’t why we grew it there but why we stopped growing so much of it elsewhere.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Jeruba To differentiate between human and yeti.~

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, yeah, I forgot—so we wouldn’t get confused and think we were abominable snowmen. ;)

andrew's avatar

Really? No one has said chafing? No one? I really think it has to do with chafing.

oratio's avatar

@andrew Good point.

erichw1504's avatar

@faye That is correct.

mattbrowne's avatar

Being able to smell a complementing immune system.

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