Men's Health

Why do men have nipples?

User Avatar
Wiki User
2015-07-04 02:44:10

Why Men Have Nipples

It's left over from early fetal development - at a certain point we

were just a fetus with an undetermined gender, and then a flood of

hormones came along in utero and told us what gender we were going

to be. Nipples are a leftover from that time. Men do have mammary

tissue, anyway. Just a tiny, tiny bit of it.

During conception, each fertilized egg starts out with an X

chromosome (from the mother) and an X or Y chromosome from the

father, which determines their gender. XX will be a female, and XY

will be a male. During fetal development, what started out as an

undetermined gender gets developed during the fetal stage into a

male or a female.

Additional facts

  • Most young men grow some breast tissue at puberty which then

    subsides and there is a fairly common condition called gynecomastia

    where men grow breasts. This can be treated very successfully by


  • Men can also get breast cancer which tends to get worse much

    more quickly than in a woman, so any man past puberty who notices

    any abnormality, or lumps in their breast tissue, should see a

    doctor immediately.

  • Men have nipples because we all were conceived gender neutral.

    Somewhere during fetal development we develop into a female or a

    male. You may notice male and female have all the same "bits" but

    they differ in size and function. The clitoris for example is the

    female counterpart to the penis........ovaries to gonads

    ........and nipples either sit on a pair of breasts or for the male

    are just there. Also, early embryonic tissue that turns into the

    uterus in females turns into the prostate gland in males.

An Inconvenient (maybe) Truth

Male humans can and do produce milk, i.e., they can lactate. Male

breasts contain all the structures needed to produce milk.

Further, it is not uncommon to observe lactation in both male and

female infants, due to the stimulation they receive from their

mother's hormones.

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.