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Why don’t women have beards?

All mammals including man have some hair on their bodies. In some mammals, hair covers the whole body, but in humans, hair grows only in certain parts. Hair preserves the body warmth and protects the skin. It also help us in realising the sense of touch. The hair on your eyebrows and eyelashes; and in the ear and nose help protect these organs from dust, impurities and insects. So, why is it that men have beards, and women do not? When a child is born, he has only fur-like hair on the body, and as he grows, the hair becomes coarser. Boys and girls reach puberty at the age of 12 to 15 years and the growth of sex glands at this age is faster. In men, the sex glands, produce a group of hormones known as ‘androgens’, and in women, they produce ‘estrogens’. The function of androgen is to regulate secondary sex male features, such as the growth of facial and chest hair and deepening of the male voice at puberty. The function of the estrogens is to regulate secondary female sexual features, such as the change in the size of breasts, growth of pubic hair and onset of the menstrual cycle. There are various other changes in men and women brought about by these hormones. For example, the female body becomes soft and tender, whereas the male body becomes hard and strong. A special group of hormones called the ‘progesterone’ is responsible for the regulation of pregnancy in women. Therefore, women do not have beards primarily due to the absence of androgens.

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