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

Gerold Firl (
12 Jun 1995 12:57:21 -0700

In article <3r9oin$> (HARRY R. ERWIN) writes:
>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?

>I believe Jared Diamond makes a related point (with evidence) in the
>Third Chimpanzee. Penis size and display appears to play some role in
>male/male status disputes; not male sexual attractiveness.

Thus we have two hypotheses to account for the outsized human penis:

1. Sexual selection/female choice, and

2. Conflict resolution within the male dominance heirarchy.

We could come-up with other hypotheses to go along with them, but these
seem like the obvious starting points. In fact, they may well prove to be
complementary, rather than mutually exclusive.

If we accept diamond's evidence that penis size has been used as a conflict
resolution system among males, leading to increased access to females for
men with larger schlongs, the question naturally arises of what percentage
of inseminations can be attributed to these socially-sanctioned, open-air
pairings, versus backdoor, dark-of-night types of couplings, where
individual choice (particularly on the part of the woman) can play a larger
role. If penis size had been selected-for purely as a result of male-male
status disputes, then women would have played a purely passive role in the
evolution of this unusually human sexual attribute. Judging from other
examples of sexual selection, from other species, and from the history of
constant power-struggles between the sexes in human cultures around the
world, this seems unlikely.

The reason I suggested that hypothese 1 and 2 may be complementary rather
than contradictory is because of the tight linkage which exists between
male and female in human society. If females use penis size as a measure of
sexual attractiveness, then men will value penis size. And looking at human
evolution from the long-term, million-year perspective, we see basic
physiological reasons why this might be. As brain size has increased, the
human birth canal has had to enlarge. Why shouldn't penis size enlarge
right along with it?

In fact, that leads to a third hypothesis, which appears to have an
appealing simplicity: penis size as a result of selection for quick
ejaculation times. Human males are famous for their ability to ejaculate
quickly (women, you can attest to this if anyone asks for references). A
tight fit of the vagina around the penis acts to accelerate ejaculation.
Thus, if it was important for men to come quickly, a larger penis would be
advantageous. In an open-air, paleolithic-type social environment, such
speed might be a must for lower-status men.

Sociobiology can be fun.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf