Re: Breasts

Gerold Firl (
24 Oct 1995 13:16:52 -0700

In article <46dvi3$> (Richard Carnes) writes:

>2. What feminine characteristics or features are primarily
>responsible for arousing men sexually? The characteristic body shape
>of females who have attained sexual maturity has been ruled out as a
>sexual stimulus, since the breasts form one of the most obvious
>features of that shape, and we have been informed that men are
>attracted by breasts for cultural reasons alone. (In fact I think it
>is pretty well established that men cross-culturally are attracted by
>a 7/10 waist-hip ratio.)

Quite right - the suggestion that the female body has no instinctive
arousal triggers for men is absurd. Indeed, the breast is probably *the*
most sensitive indicator of female reproductive potential; they signal the
onset of puberty and provide a clear indication of maturity throughout a
woman's life.

Note that _all_ female cosmetics are intended to make women appear younger
than they are. The advertising slogan "lifts and seperates!" conveys
perfectly the reproductive-indication role of breasts as a sexual signal,
and also shows the function of the bra as an age-palliative.

>3. Returning to reality, it is undeniable that there is a cultural
>component in men's attitudes toward the female breast; the fact that
>it is kept concealed, as well as teasingly displayed, not to mention
>fetishized, in everyday life undoubtedly contributes to its allure.

I would suggest that the western practice of covering the breasts in public
is primarily associated with our delay of female sexual availibility; girlsare not considered to be women until their late teens, which is right
about the time that their breasts drop. High-standing breasts are an
arousal trigger for men; by covering them, the transition to a
late-teens/early-twenties marriage age for women was facilitated.

>But in
>a discussion about men's feelings about and responses to women, Abby
>asks a woman for her views, but evidently does not ask a man, who
>could reply from his immediate, direct experience. I draw no moral
>here; I am just pointing out a curious observation.

Older women benefit from a breast taboo, if they hope to compete with
young women in sexual attractiveness. Covering the breast levels the
playing field.

Downplaying the significance of arousal-triggers has other advantages,
from the standpoint of someone playing the role of cultural-mediator.
Arousal-triggers are disruptive factors. They make things happen. A
cultural-mediator acts to minimize the significance of such factors.
If society is an engine, a machine, then columnists such as Dear Abby
and Ann Landers are maintainence technicians, trying to keep it
running smooth. What's a little dishonesty when social harmony is at

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