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Monday, December 18, 2006

Why my forefathers became Breast Men

Human females are the only primate who have permanently swollen breasts (mostly fatty tissue). No other mammal has breasts of comparable size when not lactating. This suggests that the outward form of the sexually mature human female breast may be functional beyond only lactation.
Human Breasts

Figure 1:
Yo Momma

As an example from the not-swollen breasted mammals, here's some Spider Monkeys having hot monkey sex for visual comparison.

I have gleefully argued with a friend whether or not men's interest in female breasts is purely socialization (that is, we are "taught" by society to like them) or a built-in (i.e. genetic) attraction, like Bonobo males to genital swelling.

If it were to be built in, there would have to be a selective advantage for it. In evolution, the most important metric is the (average) chance to survive long enough to reproduce (and ostensibly have your offspring survive to the same point). A small advantage for a given environment will spread through the gene pool rapidly (in generational time). If mens interest in permanently swollen human breasts is in fact genetic and there is a non-lactation function which at some point selected them for being permanently swollen, it isn't much of a stretch to suggest these may be entwined. In fact, they may be the smoking gun of cause and effect.

If you are a mamallian species in which the female only has swollen breasts during pregnancy or lactation, the male can determine a time when the female can have sexual intercourse without concern for production of offspring. (i.e. Sex during pregnancy will not result in another child, but you take your chances with lactation)

Assume at some point in our ancestry, females did not have swollen breasts except during pregnancy/lactation. This is a reasonable assumption given the comparison with other primate species (except possibly Bonobos). In this scenario, I suggest that males may copulate more often (monogomously or not) with a willing female partner if her breasts are swollen because they believe intercourse will not result in offspring. They are less interested in copulating with a currently fertile female because of the chance of creating more mouths to feed, more competition, social repercussions, etc. Thus, males had some measure of control over the reproductive lives of the females. Males may grow to like swollen breasts (because it equates with consequence-free sex time), but does not necessarily confer any advantage (and could possibly be a disadvantage as far as evolution goes).

Now that we have that table set, for the first time in this scenario introduce a mutation where once sexually mature, a female's breasts stay swollen via fatty deposits. Since this concept is unknown, there is a much higher chance the female will copulate during her fertile period with a male who thinks no offspring will happen as a result of the intercourse. ("Hey man, I couldn't have knocked up your sister - [I thought] she was already pregnant!") If this was even remotely the case, it would confer enough of an advantage for the new large breasted woman gene to spread like wildfire through the human population.

Not only would this mutation have taken away the males ability to reproduce on their terms, it puts the control for (consensual) reproduction back into the hands of the female. One could further argue that females could use their breasts as a tool to reproduce with the male of their choice - especially males of prominance or skill who think there would be no reproductive consequences - who would be slightly easier to seduce by a female of lesser station. With natural selection, slightly easier is all you need to make a big difference. A honey bomb like the one at the top of the article might have been looking at your forefather and saying "Hi Thog the strong and rich, notice my full breasts? If you put your seed inside me, I won't get pregnant with your child. Wanna have some fun?" At that point, oddly enough, all Thog said was "Uhhhh...."

So there you have it. My interest in women's breasts may be deeply seated in my evolutionary past. If true, I could no more dislike women's large breasts than I could dislike like eating meat. That is, I could, but it wouldn't be in line with the conferred evolutionary advantage that directed my ancestry. I have the teeth I have because my ancestors evolved as omnivores. Meat tastes good to me. Mmmmmmm....meat. Mmmmmm.

I should do some research into this. I can just see me now, trying to justify to the IT and HR departments at work why I should be able to spend the day surfing for pictures of topless women. It's all in the name of science. I can't wait to tell my wife.

Burton MacKenZie /

Intellectual. Not so much.


Derek said...

Yes, but how does that explain moobs?????

G.E. Stove said...

Burton, again there you are going off half-cocked on some cockamamie cock-and-bull story... I'll bet there was an evolutionary advantage here but I don't think you've hit the nail on the head. You've left open the great big gaping question of why intercourse without reproduction would be evolutionarily beneficial as opposed to detrimental --- and why humans experience intercourse as fun or pleasurable.

And while you're puzzling over this, why not come up with a theory as to why you prefer a neat and trim pussy as opposed to a hairy pelt reminiscent of Grizzly Adams?

cunning stunt said...

g.e is correct, and used the word cock 3 times in shooting your half-baked theory down in flames. Well done!

Since when is it an evolutionary advantage to have sex and not create offspring? That is a modern concept, which is having predictable results in Western society.


burton mackenzie said...

My response to your questions grew too long, so I made it into a new main post. Please check out my latest post, Tittie Love, for more argumentation.


burton mackenzie said...

See down Jessica Alba's Shirt at the followup article Tittie Love: More on the selective underpinnings of Permanently Swollen Breasts

William Bunker said...

i believe in creation, and that mankind's chicks were made that way for the sexy purpose.

evolution seems a slow process depending on... well read the page .

while creation is controlled evolution by what we'd call alien forces. Note that scientists have found that some em fields are alive. That gives prcedence for angels and demons, gods and satans.

dradventur said...

This is not a new idea - in fact there is a good book called the Naked Ape that explores the zoological reasons for our anatomy. One reasons (among many) for the large boobs is to be refelctive of the buttock and the different color nipples and areola reflective of the clitoris and labia. The idea is that it forced man to mate frontally increasing pair bonding (most animals mate from the rear)


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