Re: Breast Size (Was: Re: Homosexuality and genetic determinism)

Lemonhead (
Wed, 31 May 1995 20:54:11 -0500

On Tue, 30 May 1995, Tim Benham wrote:
> Your example is generally called "concealed ovulation" and is generally
> considered to raise the sexual temperature because it obliges men to
> attempt intercourse with women at all times instead of only during
> oestrus. The second part of your sentence implies that evolution is
> directed towards making groups nicer places to live, which isn't
> at all likely.
Men may attempt intercourse at different times, and perhaps even
more often, with concealed ovulation, but there isn't the same sense of
urgentcy or lack of control that there seems to be with other animals.
Have you ever seen a male dog go half-mad when a female in heat walks
by? I've seen them pull so wildly on thier leashes that it's a wonder
they didn't break their own necks. Now, although human females are
always attractive to human men, they are not insanely so. In early
hominid bands, since the attraction to any specific female at any
specific time was not insanely strong, perhaps men were able to do an
early form of reasoning ("what's more important: having sex with that
female- who is attractive, but not insanely so- or maintaining a bond
with my hunting partner? Maybe I won't risk fighting over her and wait
for a time to have sex with her when I won't have to fight- the sex
message isn't irresistably strong right now") With people able to
maintain cool heads, relations among the group members would be at least
more amiable than those in which the members could not get along.
It seems a pretty good guess that early humans were increasingly
dependent on the others in their group and group cohesion would be
especially important (for protection against predators and for
co-operating in food-getting).

I have a question-- does anybody know how frequent human sexual
encounters are cross-culturally and how that frequency compares to out
closest relatives?
I remember reading somewhere that among Americans, masturbation
rates are second to only those of solitary caged animals.

> : Many animals find females that have just given birth and are
> : nursing to be unattractive, and they do not try to mate with them.
> : Perhaps the female breast evolved so that they constantly appear as if
> : they are nursing, and are therefore less attractive. Groups whose women
> : evolved such adaptation would enjoy much better cohesion and would be
> : much more successful.
> Well it doesn't seem to have worked very well does it?
Perhaps I used the wrong word- instead of UNattractive, I should
have used LESS attractive, more CONTROLABLY attractive.

> How would a gene which made its carrier unattractive to the opposite sex
> succeed in overcoming its sexier alleles?
Becuase the carrier's children were more successful (e.g. more
prepared for life)? Such women would have a greater percentage of her
children reach an adult age, and once they got to that adult age, they
would be more able to cope with adult life due to the firm and productive
childgood they had.

Kevin K