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Thread: The Eternal Question

  1. #1 The Eternal Question 
    Forum Sophomore BioHazard's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    St. Marks, Portland, Liberty City
    Why do men have nipples, and why do both sexes have a dark area surrounding the teat? there is a theory that suggests that the nipples give the body a Larger face appearance, similar to the visual trick used by moths and butterflies.
    Also of interest, there is a species of monkey that has a red nose area, blue cheeks and a yellow "beard", and by "chance" has a red penis, blue scrotum and yellow pubic hair. Which somehow supports the theory that the male nose & cleft chin gives an impression of a penis and a scrotum and the lips in a female's face gives an impression of a vagina.

    "When man contemplates his future death, it is as if, by thinking of it, he renders it immediate. His defence is to deny it. He cannot deny that his body will die and rot - the evidence is too strong for that; so he solves the problem by the invention of the immortal soul" Desmond Morris
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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Men have nipples because the default mammalian gender is female. For the first period of life the embryo is essentially developed as a female. Only once the SRY gene on the Y chromosome begins to express will the indeterminate genital ridge develop into testes; and from the testes, testosterone drives the rest of the development of male secondary characteristics. But by that time it's already too late to do anything about the nipples. They just don't completely mature into functional tissues in the absence of the necessary levels of female hormones.

    The darker areola is simply a structure to give support to the nipple, and also contains glands that aid in its function. The larger face appearance theory would only hold, I think, if baring one's chest tended to scare off predators. And I really doubt that it does.

    Why would it be advantageous to have the face resemble genitals? I can only think it would be helpful if an attractive/healthy face positively correlated with healthy genitals, indicating that this person will be a fully functional mate.

    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    The larger face appearance theory would only hold, I think, if baring one's chest tended to scare off predators. And I really doubt that it does.
    There is a simple way to check this. Take a ride on the London tube, the New York, or Moscow underground, or Paris metro. With the train just leaving one station, rip your shirt open and expose your chest to the other passengers. I strongly suspect this will scare many of them off.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Sophomore
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    Sep 2007
    ROFL. I'm sooooo gonna do that....
    If we disagree then you must be right...
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