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

Bryant (
9 Jun 1995 12:58:07 -0600

In article <3r9ce7$>,
Mary Beth Williams <> wrote:

>I wonder if we change this from *breast size* to *penis size* if we'll
>come up with the same arguments for the agency of *attraction* of the
>opposite sex and the like... Wanna see?
>MB Williams

Love it. It reminds me of a paper an evolutionary psychologist I know
had reviewed--it was on developmental stability and included breast
symmetry as a measure. One of the reviewers, with similar tone as Dr.
Williams, wrote that until the researchers included *testes* symmetry as
a measure, she rejected the whole enterprise as "more proof" of the
inhehrently "sexist nature" of science! We howled over that one for
days. Since testes are directionally asymmetrical, I mean.

At any rate, to answer your question, I think that Eberhard's research on
the evolution of genetalia (males') offers strong evidence that female
choice has shaped the male copulatory organ, yes. I think that
discussions of sexual selection on our privates is completely legitimate
within an academic framework, and am mystified by your attitude.

I've always thought that the comparison of gorilla, chimp, and human
testes size and penis size with mating patterns was a wonderful
introduction to sperm competition for students--I just covered it today,
in fact. Gorillas have pre-copulatory competition amongst males, and so
don't need the relatively large peni of humans or large testes of chimps.