General Question

azwilson's avatar

Why do men have nipples?

Asked by azwilson (35points) June 12th, 2008 from iPhone

obvious why women have them…

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

susanc's avatar

Men have nipples just in case.

trogdor_87's avatar

To boggle the mind of course!

Melonking's avatar

Becouse when you are devloping in your mom you start off as a girl, you then stay as a girl or devlop more into a boy. Plzz don’t ask how I know that.

wildflower's avatar

An evolutionary glitch?
I think I remember reading somewhere a long time ago that nipples in male mammals are the only ‘feature’ that has no functional purpose….don’t know if it’s true, but seems like it.

shilolo's avatar

There is a book by this title, FYI. The basic answer is that we all start the same as embryos. For the first 6 weeks of embryogenesis, we are all the same. Then, at around the 6 week mark (in intrauterine development), male sex hormones (mainly testosterone) are made due to the presence of the Y chromosome, that leads to masculine development. You are still left with nipples and even a small amount of breast tissue from very early embryogenesis. Some men develop breast enlargement (called gynecomastia), and even breast cancer (about 1% of all breast cancer patients are men).

Melonking's avatar

Ha so I was sort of rigth.

shilolo's avatar

Yes, melonking, you were right. I gave a more long-winded answer, but in the end, they say the same thing. Now you have to tell us how you know that :-)

Melonking's avatar

Aaa er geezz I sed don’t ask, all I rember is that I think my granny told me when I was aboult 5… It led to a lot of other Q’s

AstroChuck's avatar

I once read that male horses have no nipples, only mares. That’s what I heard, ‘though can’t say I’ve looked for myself.

Spargett's avatar

One of the many vestigial organs evolution is still working out.

Trustinglife's avatar

By the way, melonking, I find that when someone says, “please don’t ask” – that’s when I become curious. Just saying…

Melonking's avatar

So it seems ~_~

osullivanbr's avatar

It’s simpler than that even.
Its because we would look fecking rediculous without em.

AstroChuck's avatar

“I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?”

gailcalled's avatar

Again? (why can I predict the jokes and who will make them?)

http://www.fluther.com/disc/2759/why-do-men-have-nipples/
@melonking. Please try to check your spelling. It has gone past amusing. And why so secretive? The development of the embryo and then fetus is common knowledge.

tupara's avatar

What’s with the spelling police?

Mangus's avatar

“Bull” Shannon on the classic situation comedy Night Court–in an episode where the normally dense but lovable bald baliff became ironically intelligent–sought to answer this question. I believe he said “For the same reason there are portholes on a ‘56 Buick.”

susanc's avatar

Aha, tupara, you don’t know we have a resident spell-checker, but we do; we always have; we always will; and her mighty name is Gail. Submission is the only option.

I myself love melonking’s spelling; but I am a natural enabler. Gail is a natural educator
and so was her extraordinary brother of blessed memory.

gailcalled's avatar

@Susan; you should talk – and remember, please remember the other Members of the Commission on Clarity. Our number is legion.

Check out the other eagle-eyed flutherers on this question

Elumas's avatar

Men have nipples because God has a great sense of humor.

thebeadholder's avatar

Thank you Gail…I am an eagle-eyed flutherer myself. I am trying to educate not humiliate. Melonking, I reckon, seems lazy to fix his iPhone mistakes. I often use my iPod and ALWAYS make sure everything is correct (hence the ! Check your work, then…answer below), even though it can be a pain at times.

tupara's avatar

I just thought I might have detected a whiff of pedantry in the air. Clearly, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

gailcalled's avatar

Is using the language correctly and clearly considered pedantry? I would have said differently.

Trustinglife's avatar

Sometimes misspelling gets tedious for me, but my view is that using language correctly and clearly is excellent… but correcting someone else’s language gets pedantic.

thebeadholder's avatar

@trustinglife, tupera & Melonking: I understand people misspell and not everyone is from America here. There is a difference between correcting someone’s spelling and correcting their use of language. I am not trying to be pedantic, as I can be very informal in many of my answers. What I do see is repeat offenders that clearly are making silly mistakes (that I sometimes view as pure laziness) for no reason.

jenni's avatar

Beacuse everyone started life as a woman !! =0

gailcalled's avatar

@Jenni; not quite. As has already been said, we all start in utero as females. Growing a woman would be very uncomfortable.

See Niki’s interesting question and the ensuing discussion on word meanings.

delirium's avatar

Wildflower: Male nipples are not the only “feature” that has no functional purpose. Spargett mentioned exactly what i’m about to talk about… vestigial structures.
Here’s 20…
VOMERONASAL ORGAN
A tiny pit on each side of the septum is lined with nonfunctioning chemoreceptors. They may be all that remains of a once extensive pheromone-detecting ability.

EXTRINSIC EAR MUSCLES
This trio of muscles most likely made it possible for prehominids to move their ears independently of their heads, as rabbits and dogs do. We still have them, which is why most people can learn to wiggle their ears.

WISDOM TEETH
Early humans had to chew a lot of plants to get enough calories to survive, making another row of molars helpful. Only about 5 percent of the population has a healthy set of these third molars.

NECK RIB
A set of cervical ribs—possibly leftovers from the age of reptiles—still appear in less than 1 percent of the population. They often cause nerve and artery problems.

THIRD EYELID
A common ancestor of birds and mammals may have had a membrane for protecting the eye and sweeping out debris. Humans retain only a tiny fold in the inner corner of the eye.

DARWIN’S POINT
A small folded point of skin toward the top of each ear is occasionally found in modern humans. It may be a remnant of a larger shape that helped focus distant sounds.

SUBCLAVIUS MUSCLE
This small muscle stretching under the shoulder from the first rib to the collarbone would be useful if humans still walked on all fours. Some people have one, some have none, and a few have two.

PALMARIS MUSCLE
This long, narrow muscle runs from the elbow to the wrist and is missing in 11 percent of modern humans. It may once have been important for hanging and climbing. Surgeons harvest it for reconstructive surgery.

MALE NIPPLES
Lactiferous ducts form well before testosterone causes sex differentiation in a fetus. Men have mammary tissue that can be stimulated to produce milk.

ERECTOR PILI
Bundles of smooth muscle fibers allow animals to puff up their fur for insulation or to intimidate others. Humans retain this ability (goose bumps are the indicator) but have obviously lost most of the fur.

APPENDIX
This narrow, muscular tube attached to the large intestine served as a special area to digest cellulose when the human diet consisted more of plant matter than animal protein. It also produces some white blood cells. Annually, more than 300,000 Americans have an appendectomy.

BODY HAIR
Brows help keep sweat from the eyes, and male facial hair may play a role in sexual selection, but apparently most of the hair left on the human body serves no function.

PLANTARIS MUSCLE
Often mistaken for a nerve by freshman medical students, the muscle was useful to other primates for grasping with their feet. It has disappeared altogether in 9 percent of the population.

THIRTEENTH RIB
Our closest cousins, chimpanzees and gorillas, have an extra set of ribs. Most of us have 12, but 8 percent of adults have the extras.

MALE UTERUS
A remnant of an undeveloped female reproductive organ hangs off the male prostate gland.

FIFTH TOE
Lesser apes use all their toes for grasping or clinging to branches. Humans need mainly the big toe for balance while walking upright.

FEMALE VAS DEFERENS
What might become sperm ducts in males become the epoophoron in females, a cluster of useless dead-end tubules near the ovaries.

PYRAMIDALIS MUSCLE
More than 20 percent of us lack this tiny, triangular pouchlike muscle that attaches to the pubic bone. It may be a relic from pouched marsupials.

COCCYX
These fused vertebrae are all that’s left of the tail that most mammals still use for balance and communication. Our hominid ancestors lost the need for a tail before they began walking upright.

PARANASAL SINUSES
The nasal sinuses of our early ancestors may have been lined with odor receptors that gave a heightened sense of smell, which aided survival. No one knows why we retain these perhaps troublesome mucus-lined cavities, except to make the head lighter and to warm and moisten the air we breathe.

AstroChuck's avatar

So they can wear nipples rings?

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