Women may argue that their male counterparts constantly lie and cheat, but this is not the reason why men's noses are bigger than women's noses. A new study found out that male noses are bigger because of their natural physique and energy demands. Their muscles require more oxygen and a larger nose means enough air is breathed in to supply what is needed.
Researchers from the University of Iowa found out that men's noses are about 10 percent bigger than women's noses in people of European descent. The lean muscle mass of males demands higher amounts of oxygen for proper muscle maintenance and growth. The experts from the College of Dentistry from the said university also found out that the difference in the size of the nose start to show at puberty or at about 11 years of age.
"This relationship has been discussed in the literature, but this is the first study to examine how the size of the nose relates to body size in males and females in a longitudinal study," said assistant professor Nathan Holton in a statement.
"We have shown that as body size increases in males and females during growth, males exhibit a disproportionate increase in nasal size. This follows the same pattern as energetic variables such as oxygenate consumption, basal metabolic rate and daily energy requirements during growth," he added.
Previous researchers have established that males gain body weight because of fat-free mass or lean muscles during puberty. While this accounts for 95 percent of weight gain in boys, the number is pegged at 85 percent for girls.
The study involved 38 individuals in their mid-twenties with proven European descent and have participated in the Iowa Facial Growth Study since they were three years old. Holton monitored the growth of the subjects and their nose sizes through physical exams and series of X-rays. Relatively, the size of male and female noses are the same until they are about 11 years old and differences were noted from the puberty stage onward. Holton and his team found out that even with the same body size, the males tend to have larger noses.
The researchers also apply the same explanation why the Neanderthals and other human ancestors had larger noses than modern humans. The lungs and rib cages are also bigger in older species of humans.
"So, in humans, the nose can become small, because our bodies have smaller oxygen requirements than we see in archaic humans. This all tells us physiologically how modern humans have changed from their ancestors," Holton pointed out.
The study is published on the "American Journal of Physical Anthropology."