In many mammals, the nape is the site of the scruff, a loose, non-sensitive area of skin by which the mother can carry her young, holding the scruff between her teeth. In domestic cats, the scruff is used when a mother cat transfers her kittens, either by carrying them away from danger or to a new nest or den site (carrying each kitten by gripping its scruff in her teeth), and in mating, when the male cat (tom) grips the female cat's scruff with his teeth to help keep her relatively immobile.
In traditional Japanese culture, the nape (項 unaji) was one of the few areas of the body (other than face and hands) left uncovered by women's attire. The nape of a woman's neck held a strong attraction for many Japanese men (see Geisha makeup).
In Egyptian culture, slapping the nape is considered a gesture of utter humiliation.
- Morris, Desmond (1994). Illustrated Catwatching. Crescent Books. pp. 94, 108. ISBN 0-517-12065-8.
- Cherry, Kittredge (1987). Womansword: What Japanese Words Say about Women. Kodansha. p. 21. ISBN 4-7700-1655-7.
- Khalifa, A. M. (2014-04-28). Terminal Rage. Mavenhill. ISBN 9781940387000.
- "Surface - Nape Body Piercing Location Information". Body Jewellery Shop.
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