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

Michael Andrew Turton (
27 May 1995 13:57:45 GMT

In article <>,
Lemonhead <> wrote:
>On 27 May 1995, Herb Huston wrote:
>> Let's see what a famous zoologist has written on this topic:
>> [stuff deleted]
>> An examination of the anatomy of the breast reveals that most
>> of its bulk is made up of fat tissue, while only a small part
>> is glandular tissue concerned with milk production. The hemi-
>> spherical shape of the breasts is not a parental development.
>> It is concerned instead with sexual signalling. This means
>> that suggestions that men's interest in women's breasts is
>> 'infantile' or 'regressive' is unfounded. The male responding
>> to the prominent breasts of a virgin or non-lactating female
>> is reacting to a primeval sex signal of the human species.
>> -- Desmond Morris, _Bodywatching: A Field Guide to the Human Species_,
>> 1985, Crown, New York, pages 164-5.

> If anything, I would think that the human female breast evolved
>to *avoid* sexual attraction. There are certainly many such
>adaptiontions (concealed estruation for example) that seemed to have
>evolved in order to ease much of the sexual tension that must have been
>present in early hominid bands.
> 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.
> I can see one arguement for this idea coming already--If the
>women were so unattractive, no one would mate with them, and there would
>never be any children. I'm not saying that large breasts made them 100%
>unattractive, just less attractive enough to reduce the sexual tension in
>the group. Looking at human history as far back as hunter-gatherers,
>there doesn't seem to be too much of a problem *producing* children, but
>the problem seems to be *keeping them alive*. Perhaps this greater
>unattractiveness led to fewer children *born* but a greater *success
>rate*. This would seem to be in line with the general trend in birth
>rate from mammal to primate to ape, that is a greater investment in each
>individual child. Also, becoming pregnant less often would lead to fewer
>deaths during pregnancy for women-- the major cause of death for women
>since the advent of the big brain until very recently.
> I just thought of all this when I was reading the thread, so if I
>am overlooking something, someone tell me.
>Kevin Karpiak
>University of Illinois
> at Champiagn-Urbana
>Student of Psychology
> and Anthropology
> Reach me at:
> or

I'll tell you -- this is brilliant. You should really seriously
write this up and send it off to be published. The feminists would love
it, for one thing.

Mike Turton