What is normal? And the related question, what is natural?
The dictionary defines normal as conforming to the standard or common type, usual, regular, natural. So normal is natural, as opposed to artificial. To get a more complete definition of normal we have to look at what is natural.
Natural means existing in or formed by nature; having a real or physical existence. So normal is quite natural, but natural is not necessarily normal. As we know some things that are natural, that is, exist in nature, are quite extra ordinary, odd or even bizarre.
A few examples of unusual, yet natural phenomena, that is natural according to the above definition, can be found in the news media just about every day:
* the baby born with more than the standard number of fingers on each hand and toes on each foot.
* the baby born with two faces or even two heads. Since no baby has ever been born (as far as we know) with more than two heads we can say that this would be neither normal nor natural.
* persons born with the body of one gender and the mind of the other.
* persons born with the anatomy of both genders.
* persons who become physically and sexually attracted to members of the same gender as themselves.
And the list goes on and on.
The subject of this article is limited to anomalies of breasts and nipples. Here are a few facts as reported by medical science.
1. Women with a third breast, with or without a nipple. This condition is known as polymastia.
2. One in 50 women and one in a hundred men have a third nipple.
3. Women with inverted, or no apparent nipples.
4. A woman, age 22, with supernumerary breast tissue and nipple on her left foot.
5. Male breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia.
6. The purpose of male nipples. Although this phenomenon is universal, the purpose is not clearly understood or agreed upon.
7. Why males have mammary glands even though not usually fully developed.
8. Many males, under certain circumstances, are able to lactate.
Your comments on these conundrums are appreciated.