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    • #10188
      fourwynds
      Participant

      Why is it common for beard growth to be restricted to a "W" shape under the mouth, for most men? i.e. there is usually (although not in every case) small areas under the mouth on the left and right, that do not grow any or very few hairs. Obviously this is genetic, but is there an underlying reason in evolution or in facial anatomy to cause this?

      For example, we still have eyebrow hair which helps keep sweat from dripping into our eyes, so what possible reason do most men have these "bald" patches under their mouth ????

      This question has been raised following a major cancer fundraising event in the UK where men grow facial hair for a month.

    • #86667
      downwithpeople
      Participant

      For centuries thoughtful men have stroked this region whilst deep in contemplation – thus wearing the hair completely off. Women find intelligent, thoughtful men attractive. In the past, women noticed that the most intelligent men in the tribe did not have hair in this region and thus it became a desirable trait. Over time natural selection favored men who could not grow hair in this area – resulting in the facial hair characteristic that is so common today. Time for another drink.

    • #86668
      MichaelXY
      Participant

      lol, thats a good one…

    • #86699
      AstusAleator
      Participant

      It’s where our sabre-teeth used to project over our lower lip

    • #87797
      phillydrifter
      Participant

      Very interesting theory (rubbing our chins in thought over centuries wore the hair away and then maidens found it attractive that some men were that thoughtful). I suppose that would also explain how, addition of course to not having whiskers grow beneath the left or right sides of my lower lip, I also don’t have any slightly beyond that, i.e. if i grew a full beard, my mustache would never ‘connect’ with the rest of my beard.

      I stumbled onto this page (stumbleupon.com) and was intrigued by the article so I made an account so I could comment. Thanks for this site.

      How often do religitards come in here proclaiming that hundreds of years of study are untrue and instead invoke supernatural deities to explain what science has been doing for the last few millenia?

      Also just because I recently found out, I was born exactly 413 years after Galileo. 🙂 That fact made me smile very much when I found out.

    • #87798
      MichaelXY
      Participant
      quote :

      How often do religitards come in here proclaiming that hundreds of years of study are untrue and instead invoke supernatural deities to explain what science has been doing for the last few millenia?

      Unless you have A.D.D. more times than you can shake a stick at…

      But I would not condone the less than favorable label you chose to use…

    • #87830
      alextemplet
      Participant

      Labels like that tend to prove a lot more about the speaker than whoever is being spoken about.

    • #87857
      AlphaNoN
      Participant

      I don’t mean to sound too crude, but it may be relevant. Cunnilingus. Women may have favored men who didn’t leave a rash in the wake of sexual gratification 😉

    • #87875
      misterzed
      Participant

      If you look at it from the other direction of why do you need it in this area? its maybe simply not useful…
      If you think of a huge beard thats not been cut the area might be covered adequately by the rest of the beardage.

      Although tool use and shaving must have been around for a significant time (like neolithic? flint shaving gear.. ow..)

      Interesting question though, wonder what sort of localised variation there is to it?

    • #87878
      alextemplet
      Participant

      Yeah, I cannot imagine shaving with flint. Talk about serious razor burn.

    • #87963
      Tony89
      Participant

      It can’t be that people stroked their hair away. This has no genetic effect. It is an alteration to the body after the person was born. It is the equivalent of saying that if you shave your head and all your kids shave their heads and their kids shave their heads and this happens for generation after generation eventually they will produce children who are bald.

    • #87974
      alextemplet
      Participant
      quote Tony89:

      It can’t be that people stroked their hair away. This has no genetic effect. It is an alteration to the body after the person was born. It is the equivalent of saying that if you shave your head and all your kids shave their heads and their kids shave their heads and this happens for generation after generation eventually they will produce children who are bald.

      Read over this again. What was suggested was that, once this became a desirable fashion statement, natural selection favored men who could not grow hair in this region, and it became the common genetic trait it is today.

    • #97278
      burnside
      Participant

      because male’s tended to hunt and gather food, the growth of facial hair could be in response to the associated dangers. thick facial hair act’s as a second line of defence, it protects the skin underneath. children/females would not necessarily need this added protection, as they were predominantly cared for by the older (bearded) male’s.

    • #97527
      TheVirus
      Participant
      quote downwithpeople:

      For centuries thoughtful men have stroked this region whilst deep in contemplation – thus wearing the hair completely off. Women find intelligent, thoughtful men attractive. In the past, women noticed that the most intelligent men in the tribe did not have hair in this region and thus it became a desirable trait. Over time natural selection favored men who could not grow hair in this area – resulting in the facial hair characteristic that is so common today. Time for another drink.

      That is a very interesting theory, indeed, and certainly worth considering. I just have one doubt: should stroking that area under the lips actually make hair wear off? Wouldn’t it be like a kind of massage, like they do with bald people, to stimulate hair growth?

    • #105919
      aaronwhi
      Participant

      I’m skeptical that rubbing is the specific etiology, but the pattern is probably caused by sexual selection rather than other forms of fitness. If beards were practical for physical survival, women would probably have them too, so the whole pattern of facial hair growth in males is most likely sexual ornamentation. The little bald spots look much more sophisticated, in my humble opinion, than the even covering of fur under an orangutan’s lower lip.

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