Why men’s noses are bigger

Why men’s noses are bigger

Have you ever wondered why men’s noses are larger than women’s? Well, a new University of Iowa study claims to know the possible answer. Give up? The size is required to keep up with males’ energy needs.

According to the study published in October in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, in populations of European descent, on average, men’s noses are 10 percent larger than women’s. The difference between men and women’s physical builds may explain why.

Since men in general have more lean muscle mass than women, their bodies have different energy demands. Their muscles require more oxygen to maintain and grow muscle tissue. Bigger noses allow more oxygen to be breathed in and transported through the blood to muscles.

Take heart, gentlemen. Your noses are not as big as they once were. Although men’s noses are larger than women’s overall, they are smaller than some of our ancestors such as the Neanderthals. According to researchers, our ancestors had greater muscle mass, which required larger noses to maintain that muscle. Since modern humans have less lean muscle mass, we can survive well with smaller noses.

Researchers tracked nose size and growth of nearly 40 males and females of European descent from 3 years old until their mid-20s. The research revealed that boys and girls have the same nose size until around age 11, when puberty begins. At that point, the size difference grew more pronounced.

Something else interesting came out of the research—the key role of the nose and how we think about it. It’s not just a centrally located facial decoration, it’s more a valuable extension of our lungs, explained lead study author Nathan Holton in a statement.

“So, in that sense, we can think of it as being independent of the skull and more closely tied with non-cranial aspects of anatomy,” added Holton, an assistant professor in the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in Iowa City.

Related Posts


Subscribe to health enews newsletter

About the Author

health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.