Most people learn at a young age that there are distinct physical differences between males and females. As we get older, we learn that in addition to different sex organs, males and females have differing amounts of certain hormones in the body, which contributes to several of the other traits that set us apart.
Three of several important hormones found in the human body are testosterone, progesterone, and estrogens (which is a group of hormones). All of these hormones are found in both men and women, but tend to be associated more with one sex than the other.
Breasts, fat deposits, and more body fat overall are what make women feel softer than men. Men, on the other hand, have greater bone and muscle mass which makes their bodies naturally less soft. These traits are caused by the balance of the above hormones, and abnormal balances can lead to higher than average muscle mass in women and higher than average body fat percentage in men.
Testosterone is considered a male hormone but is actually an androgen (a hormone that affects tissue regeneration). It encourages bone density, lean muscle mass, sex drive, and a few other traits in both men and women. Since men have higher levels of testosterone these traits tend to be stronger in them than in women. It also encourages a deeper voice and body and facial hair, which is why women with higher levels of testosterone–such as those undergoing hormone therapy, taking steroids, or experiencing menopause–may display characteristics that are generally considered male.
Estrogens are considered to be female hormones. It encourages the growth of breasts, the widening of the hips, and the depositing of fat in girls going through puberty, leading to a feminine body. Estrogens themselves produce fat and fat, in turn, produces estrogen. This is what causes most females to have soft bodies. Estrogen levels drop in women once they reach menopause, but this doesn’t necessarily lead to weight loss since existing body fat will continue to produce estrogen. Overweight men have higher levels of estrogen, as do men who may undergo hormone treatments.
Progesterone is a hormone found in men and women and plays a major role in the female reproductive cycle in addition to other functions. While it is a very important hormone, differing levels of testosterone and estrogens are the primary reasons why women’s bodies are softer than men’s.
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