ACOG Annual Meeting - San Diego - Why Do Men Have Nipples?
The first thing that piqued my imagination today was the ACOG logo. I had never looked at it closely, but first thing this morning I had that opportunity as it was flashed up on 6 very large screens at the start of the opening ceremonies and the “President’s Program,” comprised of keynote speakers to kick off the scientific sessions. What I learned was that ACOG was founded the year I was born, in 1951. Well, so what? Being one of those people who truly believes that things really don’t happen by chance, that struck me as bearing some (unexplained) significance at a higher level as to the ‘bass ackwards’ way I ended up in my chosen profession to begin with (read one or two of my earliest posts on this site if you don’t believe me!). ACOG and I are growing old at the same rate, both in our 56th years! Fortunately, I am sure the society will long outlive me.
Although I was a bit distracted by that irrelevant trivia, I did not miss the fact that the keynote speakers were outstanding. In fact all three brought tears to my eyes (each for very different reasons) and renewed my inspiration and enthusiasm for the work we were placed here to do. The first was Dr. David Barash, Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington. Dr. Barash discussed “Womanly Mysteries: Evolutionary Enigmas of the Female Sex.” My tears during his talk were for the laughter he brought to my heart. He had a wonderful Power Point presentation that never made it to the meeting because his pet cockatoo ate his flash drive as he was leaving home and he didn’t realize the damage that had been done until shortly before the meeting. It’s a good thing he’s written about 20 books on this and similar topics and could ad lib (or ‘stand up’) his way through the allotted 30 minutes.
He made the very important point that “scientific advances are not dead; in fact they aren’t even sick.” To illustrate this point, he raised several questions (“unknowns”) that have not yet been answered regarding women. To put things in perspective regarding Dr. Barash, he is a hardcore Darwinist (that is not said disparagingly, but in agreement) who believes that there is usually (although not always, so "Why do men have nipples?") some “selective advantage” to the things we do and are as humans (in the broader sense) or they would not have been incorporated into our genetic makeup. He simply asked questions that have not been answered (and won’t be here, but they will give you something to think about!): Why do women have “concealed ovulation” (i.e., neither they, nor their partners know (or at least, are aware) of when they are most fertile), unlike most other species? Why do women have prominent breasts, even when they aren’t lactating, unlike most other species? Why do women go through menopause, unlike most other species? Why do women experience orgasm during sex when they really don’t need to in order to conceive?
Anyway, ponder those questions, and if you come up with some goods answers, let me know. Nothing is ‘too far out’ when it comes down to it! I will finish this discussion with another post tomorrow…