When compared to women it is always men who has bigger nose. A recent study has revealed the scientific reason concluding why European men has bigger noses than their female counterparts. The interesting study done by lead researcher Nathan Holten, assistant professor in the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, found that men posses more lean muscle than in the females and stand in need for more oxygen for maintaining a healthy tissue growth and development. Thus bigger nose help inhaling more oxygen to meet the lean muscle demand in men.
The difference between the men and women can be noticed as early as the tender age of 11, at reaching puberty when body start developing lean muscle mass in men and fat mass in women. In some of the previous studies it has been already marked that at puberty, roughly 95% of body weight gain is because of fat free mass in men as compared to that in women. Even in literature the long term relation between the nose and the body size in male and females has been talked about. In the growing period the average energy requirement increases due to increased basal metabolic rate creating an increase demand for more oxygen intake and thus backing the reason for excessive nasal size in males.
For the study, Holton and his team tracked 38 individuals of European lineage enrolled in Iowa Facial Growth Study varying from 3 years to mid twenties. The external and internal analysis for each and every individual was conducted periodically. The study found that till puberty is not attained the size of the nose in boys and girls remain same (almost). However puberty on-wards the difference in the size become conspicuous. The energy needs post puberty is almost double in males as compared to females making a bigger nose mandate to support the increased energy consumption during the developmental phase. With this study, Holton believes that the proportionate difference in nose size would be same in case for other population, which can be confirmed with more in depth studies.
As per Holten, in our Neanderthal ancestor the muscle mass volume was more, making it clear why they had bigger noses as compared to archaic humans. Moreover the lungs and rib cage are also smaller in sizes than our ancestor due to decreased requirement of oxygen for metabolism as compared to them and explaining how modern humans has changed physiologically over the time. In Holton words “So, in humans, the nose can become small, because our bodies have smaller oxygen requirements than we see in archaic humans.”