Why Do Men Have Bigger Noses?

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No, men’s noses don’t grow bigger because they’re more prone to telling lies: it’s due to men having larger lean muscle than women, found a new study in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

The researchers at the University of Iowa say men’s noses are approximately 10% larger than women’s (Psst….here’s the best way to trim your nose hairs). During the study, researchers followed 38 people of European descent in the Iowa Facial Growth Study from the age of three until their mid-20s. Until they reached puberty, men and women’s noses grew relatively equal in size. The onset of puberty is also a time when males begin to pack on more muscle mass, which has a high oxygen requirement for growth and maintenance. This is why men tend to grow bigger noses, and drawing in oxygen also helps to support muscle mass.

The study notes that modern humans have much smaller noses than Neanderthals because we have much less muscle mass. Lead author Nathan Holton says that while the findings are based on European heritage, the results should apply to other groups because differences in male and female physiology cut across ethnic and racial boundaries, but research is needed to confirm this.