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Though the job of breastfeeding is typically known to the women, there are documented cases of men producing breast milk. However, these reports are few and far between, which means that while men do have the ability to produce milk, it doesn't happen often.

Let's say that in an alternate universe, male lactation is as routine as female lactation without the use of fertility drugs or breast pumps. Would this require a change in male anatomy? If yes, how?

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  • $\begingroup$ You need to read this article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gynecomastia, especially the "causes" section. $\endgroup$ – cobaltduck Mar 24 '16 at 15:46
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    $\begingroup$ I don't want to read your story. $\endgroup$ – SF. Mar 24 '16 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ Seems like a good question to me. If male lactation is to become routine and ordinary, what has to happen to male anatomy? Wish I could provide an answer, but.... $\endgroup$ – CAgrippa Mar 24 '16 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ Man, this is more gross than the execution via acid question. $\endgroup$ – Aarthew III Mar 25 '16 at 3:25
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    $\begingroup$ If evolution selected for human males to breast-feed children as human females do, then men would have breasts as well developed as women. A large volume of milk requires a large volume of lactating tissue, which means sizable breasts. But it's hard to see why human evolution would produce males that can breast feed. Females only breast-feeding is common to all mammals. So you're suggesting not merely a change to human evolution, but to mammalian evolution in general. $\endgroup$ – Lensman Mar 29 '16 at 7:06
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It requires no change in male anatomy other than what a biological father already has present. The change would be in culture. Among the Aka, of whom all fathers wet nurse their children when their wives forage, it is far more common for (a percentage of) men to actually produce milk for their child. While it is considered just this side of immoral in America several new fathers have 'anonymously' reported having the ability to lactate after wet nursing their children for a period of time.. One documented the agony of having milk upon being called to serve in the military overseas. These were all biological men without artificial hormones given.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you have any sources? I'd love to know more, and verification is always a bonus. $\endgroup$ – neph Apr 6 '16 at 3:47
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No, it would not require a change in anatomy, as you seem to already know from your remarks that it happens sometimes as it is.

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  • $\begingroup$ But how do I make it MORE COMMON? That's where I'm going. $\endgroup$ – JohnWDailey Mar 24 '16 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ Your (only) question is "Would this require a change in male anatomy? If yes, how?" you can edit your question to clarify, and (seeing the negative score) maybe make it more attractive for this site. See the Sandbox on meta. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Mar 24 '16 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ Edit the question how? $\endgroup$ – JohnWDailey Mar 24 '16 at 17:39
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    $\begingroup$ As I understand it, to make it more common, you just need to alter the male hormone balance. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Mar 24 '16 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, that's an assumption or precondition of the question. Not the question. We're assuming that part, not addressing it. It is more common. How to make it more common is not being asked. Your question is not how to make it more common, but what that means to anatomy. See another comment to your original post. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Mar 25 '16 at 1:29
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More estrogen

There are all kinds of environmental factors that could raise estrogen levels in men - this would result in enlarged male breasts and facilitate lactation.

A particular case in our world is bisphenol-A, a plastic additive that was earlier used in food containers, and entering the body it acts similarly to estrogen and causing the abovementioned issues.

This or some other chemical contaminant, or some bacterial/fungal infection that produces estrogen as a byproduct, or factory farming pumping food animals full of hormones are all plausible ways to cause what you intend - in absence of control and regulation of food mass production, such factors can change the hormonal balance in most of population and achieve these changes in male physique.

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  • $\begingroup$ women with flat chests can produce as much milk as women with boobs like the ones of Annie Hawkins-Turner or bigger. So why do men need boobs to produce milk? $\endgroup$ – Charon Sep 28 '16 at 21:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Charon estrogen is a hormone that happens to have a wide variety of effects even post-puberty, one of them is triggering gynecomastia (enlarged breasts) in men, another is (together with prolactin) facilitating lactation. While breast size is largely determined by hormone levels during puberty, the hormonal effects of pregnancy will temporarily increase breast size in any woman; the same hormones (if they are somehow introduced) will also increase breast size in men. $\endgroup$ – Peteris Sep 28 '16 at 22:34

protected by HDE 226868 Jan 4 '17 at 0:12

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