Sexual Arousal Doesn't Cause Bloody Noses, Says Medical Science

In anime and manga, when characters get excited -- often sexually excited -- blood dribbles, or squirts, out of their noses. But is this backed by medical science? Nope!

[Image: szk_glks]

The notion that arousal or excitement induces bloody noses (hanaji or "鼻血") isn't just part of anime or manga iconography. It's also become an old wives' tale of sorts.

[GIF via まとめ]

Japanese site Netallica put the question before a otolaryngologist to see if the ear, nose and throat doctor could confirm whether or not sexual arousal causes bloody noses.

"Bloody noses," Dr Kouichirou Kanaya explains, "are probably used to show in a powerful way just how excessively large the change induced by sexual arousal is."

[GIF via まとめ]

It's a climax, and in manga, it often seems to be code for ejaculation.

The trope is very much a Japanese one, appearing throughout the country's popular culture and with various nuances in anime and manga. It is not a new trope and has existed for years.

Manga artist Yasuji Tanioka is believed to be the first one to introduce the motif with his early 1970s manga Yasuji no Mettameta Gaki Dou Kouza. Other manga artists liked the expression and began replicating it in their own work.

According to Dr Kanaya, "The notion that sexual arousal causes the heart rate and blood pressure to rise is something that's a well documented fact; however, in actuality, sexual arousal and bloody noses have no direct connection."

[GIF via まとめ]

Bleeding in the front of the nasal septum often causes nosebleeds. In the case of kids, picking might cause bloody noses. There's a whole host of other reasons that can cause bloody noses that range from dry air to cocaine use and from allergies to haemophilia (the Mayo Clinic has a much more detailed list).

[GIF via まとめ]

While sexual arousal induced nosebleeds don't seem to be backed by medical science, they have become shorthand for stimulation. If they have made it this many decades, don't expect the trope to stop any time soon.

[GIF via まとめ]

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Comments

    I always thought it symbolized the blood pressure that causes an erection.

    Great, can we get the doctors to look into something more important?

    Like why I get this giant tear drop on my head when I'm embarrassed

    Next up they are going to tell us that getting mad actually doesn't make an X-shaped vein appear on our temples!

    Well of course not. They couldn't show characters actually popping a boner without getting censored to hell and back.

    I thought it was a display of the character thinking dirty thoughts.

    What? There's no joke, no real point, it isn't particularly interesting nor is it dispelling an assumption anyone had. Are you implying anime tropes need or should be informed by medical science? Why don't we do a test on movement and see if a flashing background appears when we pose in real life?

    I don't watch anime. These gifs of fountains appearing out of their noses.....wow, pretty strange.

    Ganna go on a limb to assume they did this rather than showing the actual reaction.
    Would you rather see Master Roshi with a blood nose or an erection?

    Last edited 11/05/17 10:16 am

    Wait what?! Really?! Haha, good one. You had me going there. Next you'll try telling me that the human body doesn't have 20 litres of blood pressure packed into it that comes spraying out in fountains when I get wounded.

    At what point did anime makers state this was mean to be accurate. Its quite obvious its meant to refrence the person is aroused. Because having an anime character pop a hardon would not make it to TV.

    It used to be that only males were afflicted with this malady. Nowadays though it's been decided that females can be as perverted as males, which is why you see the gifs above.

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