Women’s Noses are Smaller Than Men’s &Ndash; Why?

November 20, 2013 by Norm Schneider  
Published in Hair

Research provides the answer of why females got smaller proboscises.

Have you ever looked at someone’s face and wondered how they got the nose they have? Of course it has to do with genetics, but why are women’s noses invariably smaller than men’s noses in most cases?

We’re not talking about post-plastic surgery noses, just the real deal; the one you were born with. For some folks you make Cyrano de Bergerac look puny. For others it’s as tiny as a button.

Researchers from the University of Iowa decided they would sniff out the answer (I guess they had nothing better to do) and found that men’s noses (at least those of European descent) are about 10 percent larger than women’s noses. Not much of a difference but nothing to turn up your nose at either.

The reason for the nose/size problem is that men and women have different builds and energy demands (didn’t we know this?). Men have more lean muscle mass – in other words they are bigger – and therefore need more oxygen for muscle tissue growth and maintenance. Hence, they need a larger nose to draw in air that oxygenates the blood supply.

Nose Changes As Early As 11 Years Old

The researchers also found that the nose differences between the sexes start revealing themselves at around age 11. At that moment, roughly the same time puberty sets in, males start growing their lean muscle mass and females grow more fat mass.

The study also found that human noses today are generally smaller than their Neanderthal ancestors. That’s because those cave men and women had even more muscle mass than modern men and women so they needed larger noses to draw in more oxygen.

Other Cultures?

So, what happens if one examines the noses of non-Europeans? The researchers say more study is needed to see if the male to female nose size findings hold true.

Here’s a better idea – why not just forgo the whole nose study thing; there’s certainly more important research that can be undertaken.

Notice how well I refrained from saying, ‘this research really smells.’

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