Of course, Pinocchio had a big nose . . . after all, he was a male. According to a recent study, the noses of men are ten percent larger than those of women. At least that is what the researchers at the University of Iowa concluded after conducting a study of thirty-eight individuals who were enrolled as participants. The participants began the study at age three and continued until their mid-twenties. The study was called the “Iowa Facial Growth Study” and was published in The American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Basically, from what I get out of all the scientific jargon in the article, they had their noses measured throughout this time period.
Now, the common sense in me would lead me to think that men have larger noses than women because most men are larger than women . . . the bigger you, the bigger your nose. Makes sense to me. I am an average sized male and I like to think that my nose is fairly average in its size. But . . . NO! According to the researchers, the larger schnozzes are simply nature’s way of fueling the lean muscle mass that men have in higher proportion than women. Apparently men have more lean muscle mass than women . . . lean muscle mass needs more oxygen because they use more energy that fat muscle mass. It seems that the nose doesn’t have much to do with the rest of the head or skull despite its central and prominent location smack dab in the middle of it all . . . the nose’s function plays an important role in the respiratory system.
As a kid I never paid much attention to my nose . . . except those times when I was really bored. When I was bored it seemed that I usually had a finger stuck up it mining for boogers. As a child it seemed that my nose made an abundance of boogers . . . boogers that little girls hated and screamed about whenever you approached them with a booger encrusted finger. As a kid, the nose was just a booger factory . . . and, a snot producer. Nothing slicker than snot. Some wise--it might have been a wise ass--adult , once told me that snot was nothing more than brain lubricant . . . and, that when a person had a runny nose he or she was losing brain lubricant. Hey, I was a smart kid—some might say, smart ass kid, and I figured a snappy response whenever my parents told me to quit putting my finger up my nose. I started responding, “But I checking to see if I’m low on brain lubricant!” Thankfully, I grew up . . . yet, there are those moments, even as an adult, that the nostalgia of nose picking urges me on to check out the ol’ nose pocket.
Up through the age of eleven . . . about the time puberty sets in . . . there is not much difference in the size of noses of boys and girls. It is around the age of eleven that the ol’ snout begins to sprout. This is when boys begin to start acquiring more lean muscle mass . . . meaning they are getting bigger and stronger (which one would think would support my original hypothesis). More lean muscle mass needs more oxygen thus the body starts constructing a bigger and better nose. The snout begins to sprout. Pinocchio is born!
Remember now, this is scientific research in which millions of dollars was poured . . . so, it has to be right. Yet, there are those out there in the real world who would argue that the reason men have big noses is to have better smelling ability. One theory is that God created men with bigger noses so that they could smell scents better . . . in particular, the female scent . . . so that, well, reproduction could occur. It was a matter of survival. In this case, I guess the nose still has no real function for the face or skull . . . not even the lungs, but for regions farther south. It is sort of like the Big Bad Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood . . . my, Grandma, what big ears you have (the better to hear you my dear) . . . my Grandma, what a big nose you have (the better to smell you my dear) . . . then when she gets to the teeth if is all over. As popular as this theory of sniffer size is, it does not hold a whole lot of brain lubricant.
As I stated earlier, I have an average nose . . . it is not too big, it is not too small . . . it fits my face . . . and, it functions as it is supposed to. In comparison to most the females I know, it isn’t that much larger than theirs unless they are smaller than me (again, there it is . . . my hypothesis). Yet, I am a guy, and we guys rarely seem to beat women at much in life . . . seems women are up on men two-to-one whenever there are comparisons. So, I am going to take this proboscis victory and celebrate it for what it is . . . a lessening of the gap between men and women. I celebrate my ten percent margin of size over women . . . I stick it up in the air . . . for once, winning by a nose feels good. Who would have thought that Pinocchio would be a male sex symbol thanks to his nose.
Now you nose!