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Could Nipple Size be a Product of Evolution?

Ever wondered about the significance of the the variations in nipple sizes? No? Well perhaps now is a good time to start. A common belief is that lack of variation in the size of an organism indicates that that specific size is an advantage for survival. As we’ve seen in the past, nature tends to select favorable characteristics to promote survival. With this in mind, it has been long understood that the “ideal” nipple size would promote fertility in a woman. However, researchers are beginning to rethink this apparent understood truth. A team at the University of Queensland in Australia hypothesized that, by the rules of natural selection, if an organ had greater variation, it would be deemed less useful. The researchers then compared women’s nipples to men’s nipples and found that a man’s nipple is smaller than a woman’s, but a woman’s had a lot more variation. Since we know a woman’s nipples are important for breastfeeding, it is clear that they are a vital organ, whereas, it’s hard to think of an equally important use for a man’s nipple. So, the hypothesis involving natural selection does not apply to nipples as the study concludes by stating that basing importance of particular organs off of variation is inaccurate. All in all, whether you have small or large nipples, it doesn’t affect how well you will be able to nurse your child.

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