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Why are men attracted to breasts?

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Sadako    10

Attraction to breasts is probably a cultural thing, not an inherant genetic thing. I'm reminded of documentaries on African and South American tribes in which the women always expose their breasts, and the men don't seem to care.

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5614    27

And I know men who are attracted to other parts of the body more so than breasts... prob just a personal thing... just as my favourite colour is red, and someone else's will be different, so people like different things... although some favourite things are quite popular favourites!

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swansont    6251

In other primates, swelling of the breasts is a sign of estrus. Having that be a stimulus wouldn't be cultural. The thought is that in "adopting" a monagamous strategy, it was advantageous for women who always looked like they were fertile, so the man wouldn't go looking for another mate.

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Spyman    392

And when the male was looking for a mate in the first place, he would want the female to have good breasts to increase the survival rate of his offspring.

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CanadaAotS    12

same goes with all the other parts of women's anatomy thats popular, more often then not, it's some kind of evolutionary advantage

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husmusen    10

I'd agree that it's mainly cultural,

In China at one time I believe it was tiny feet.

 

How many times do you think the avg 15 year old boy in

an anglo country has seen big breasts associated with

high sexual status? On ads, on magazine covers, overheard in

conversation etc...

 

I also feel the selection advantage argument is a little circular

and somewhat false logic.

 

If it's an advantage, that's why it's favoured.

If it's not an advantage, that means it is an advatage because

it proves fitness.(male Peacock argument, or female hyena).

 

other examples:

 

Men are atracted to hairy females with beards.

Scientist: This is because these women would be more likely to

survive harsh winters.

 

Men are attracted to women with large upper body strength.

Scientist: Large upper body strength is beneficial in many ways.

 

These are two rediculous examples but they demonstrate the point.

You also have disability fetishes, anyone care to provide a

selection fitness argument for that?

 

Cheers.

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swansont    6251
I'd agree that it's mainly cultural' date='

In China at one time I believe it was tiny feet.

 

How many times do you think the avg 15 year old boy in

an anglo country has seen big breasts associated with

high sexual status? On ads, on magazine covers, overheard in

conversation etc...[/quote']

 

Attraction to big breasts may be cultural, and is not universal. But the attraction in general is not, I think.

 

I also feel the selection advantage argument is a little circular

and somewhat false logic.

 

If it's an advantage' date=' that's why it's favoured.

If it's not an advantage, that means it is an advatage because

it proves fitness.(male Peacock argument, or female hyena).

 

other examples:

 

Men are atracted to hairy females with beards.

Scientist: This is because these women would be more likely to

survive harsh winters.

 

Men are attracted to women with large upper body strength.

Scientist: Large upper body strength is beneficial in many ways.

 

These are two rediculous examples but they demonstrate the point.

You also have disability fetishes, anyone care to provide a

selection fitness argument for that?

 

Cheers.[/quote']

 

It's an advantage if it's favored.

 

If the behavior is not a disadvantage, it will not necessarily tend to be removed. Do fetishes provide a disadvantage, at the expense of some advantageous feature? Are they heritable behaviors?

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Savier    10

It is cultural. If everyone in a culture covered up their hands, hands would become sexually attractive. Personally, I have never thought as breasts as attractive.

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towjyt    10

I think Western men are attracted to large breasts because in Western cultures women keep them covered up.

 

A woman's large breasts are calling attention to her sexuality, whether on purpose or not.

 

When a woman exposes her breasts to a man it is a signal that she may be willing to engage in sexual intercourse with him. Men in general are responsive to invitations for sex. Large breasts start the thought process toward a sexual encounter.

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Phi for All    4814

I think the attraction is more pronounced when they are hidden. Men, perhaps humans in general, don't like to be denied access to anything. The more you're told you can't see something, the more you wonder why, the more you want to see it (them).

 

And since we don't have them in the first place, that makes our fascination even greater.

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aswokei    10

Kwashiorkor I think it's called. It's a PEM or protein energy malnutrition that effects young children in third world countries where there is very little protein rich food to go around. What it translates into is "Evil spirit that kills children after another one is born".

 

What happens is the child is getting protein from the mother from her breast milk and when the second child is born, there isn't enough milk for the other child and so he suffers the effects of PEM (discoloration in the hair, fluid buildup in the ankles, pot belly, emaciated face, lethargy, etc...)

 

Large breasts can indicate more mammery tissue which means there's plenty of highly nutritious milk to go around for her children, which justifies a man's attraction to those breasts. Plus there is scientific evidence that shows that collustrum is superior to baby forumula. Kids who are breast fed grow up to be healthier and slightly more intelligent than others.

 

I love breasts.

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Martin    416
Why are men attracted to breasts?

 

IMHO not all women's breasts, in their bra-less shape, are attractive.

You have to be careful about generalizing when you say "men are attracted to breasts". Not to suggest you mean all men and all breasts.

 

Also I wonder if women are universally disinterested in each other's breasts. Wouldn't a woman who wanted the admiration of other women also manipulate her breast-shape with a bra, or wear a low neckline etc? In a group of women do the ones with prominent breasts tend to be more assertive and adopt leadership roles? I dont know, but it is possible. Are Lesbians attracted by each other's breasts? Or is it purely a male thing.

 

Anyway you could make an interesting coffeetable book on the Western Breast, going back to Greek, Egyptian, Hindu sculpture and giving examples of the various clothing styles that accent the breast

bodices that push them up

necklines showing cleavage

bras that impose particular types of shape

and the treatment of breasts in art, like the Gothic breast, the Renaissance breast, the Baroque and Rococco breast, the (ugh!!) Cubist breast. In my view the breasts of the Impressionists are especially nice.

 

BTW no one in this thread has mentioned babies being attracted to breasts. It might be that human babies (both male and female) are genetically programmed to some extent to like breasts.

Like every other aspect of behavior it involves some learning but their may be some genetic basis as well. They have to be taught, but there might be a basic predisposition to learn that is hard-wired in the baby brain.

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CanadaAotS    12

So this really comes down to nature or nurture... I think as a sort of base, babies are naturally attracted to larger breasts over smaller since larger would've allowed the babies of our ancestors to have a better chance to live. Then for older males, a larger portion of the attraction would be based on culture.

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Mokele    443
Are Lesbians attracted by each other's breasts?

 

Yes, they are. I have a lot of lesbian friends (in fact, more than all other sex/orientation combos combined), and all display the same reaction to breasts as males.

 

Mokele

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alt_f13    12
Yes' date=' they are. I have a lot of lesbian friends (in fact, more than all other sex/orientation combos combined), and all display the same reaction to breasts as males.

 

Mokele[/quote']

 

I'll second that, althought the lesbians I know aren't "friends" per se...

 

Der... Moving on...

 

I guess that says something about the nature of homosexuality... or the cultural impact on personal preference.

 

Shucks, which one is it? The chicken or the egg?

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[Tycho?]    11

Attractive features of the opposite sex tend to be things noticably different from one's own sex. Males like boobs, or small feet, or slender, or nice hips, or lucsious lips, or whatever. Females like size, muscle definition, shoulder width... and whatever else.

 

Some of these things do have an instinctual tint, lots of attractive attributes of a female corespond to a female who is in good childbearing shape, or a female who is sexually aroused or whatever. Same the other way.

 

But lots of attractive traits are just differences. A female with huge bulging musles and super broad shoulders tends to not be attractive, simple because when you look at her one would see lots of male traits in her. That foot size thing in china is a great example- females have naturally smaller feet than males. No advantage to small feet, its just a difference that became more pronounced in that culture. Breasts (along with ass) are obvious choices for males because they are very visible, and easily define the sex of the person in question. Doesn't mean its universal though, not by a long shot.

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bascule    731

There's definitely a biological component to it. The inordinately preferred proportions for a female are when bustline is approximately equal to hemline and the waist is 7/10ths of the other two. For example, the classic 36-24-36 yields 2/3, or .666... which is approximately .7

 

I really wish I had a source on this... it was something I saw on PBS probably a good 10 years ago or so. Maybe I can dig one up with Google.

 

As for an evolved genetic response to big breasts... that seems stupid... what's the advantage? As I recall the size of breasts has little to no effect on milk production, so...

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Chatha    10

Partly because its just out there but still not within reach. Its a kind of tease, for lack of a better word.

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Martin    416
... As I recall the size of breasts has little to no effect on milk production, so...

 

that is interesting, bascule, if true. Could you please supply a reference?

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Spyman    392
As for an evolved genetic response to big breasts... that seems stupid... what's the advantage? As I recall the size of breasts has little to no effect on milk production, so...
Lets compare breasts to guns...

 

Two guns with the same technical properties but with different sizes.

If You where to use the gun as a hammer or something then the biggest would be the best.

But when using it as it's meant, shooting at targets, You will find the smaller one better.

(Holding a big gun takes a lot more energy from You, which gives less accuracy.)

 

Which gun will be the most impressive one, on average people ?

(The best or the biggest.)

 

So a bigger breast may not be better but it's easier to spot and it gives a "bigger" impression.

(Big impression can be an advantage.)

 

Edit:

Martin, I have also read about "the size of breasts has little to no effect on milk production" but it was not from a trusted source. And it didn't include the storage capability of milk between the feeding times.

So a small, (but still normal sized), breast may produce milk as fast as a big, (but still normal sized), breast but it can't store the same amount. (More stored milk = shorter feeding time = survivor advantage)

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bascule    731
that is interesting, bascule, if true. Could you please supply a reference?

 

Well, this is the first hit on Google, an article by an M.D. who teaches at Harvard on a site that contains "Medical Content Reviewed By Harvard Medical School," so I think it's a fairly reliable source:

 

http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/35320/35321/378037.html?d=dmtHMSContent

 

Does breast size really matter? It's a debate I have had with my girlfriends for years. The grass is often greener on the other side, and so women continually exchange reasons why it is enviable to have either larger or smaller breasts. But are there any significant medical differences between having large or small breasts?

 

First, it's important to understand a little anatomy of the breast. Breast size is dictated more by the amount of fatty and fibrous tissue than the amount of milk-producing glands. This is important when thinking about size and its relationship to breast-milk production and risk of breast cancer.

 

Generally speaking, size does not make a difference for important biological functions and conditions. Below are facts about some common medical misconceptions about breast size.

 

Breast size does not influence how much breast milk you can or will produce. Because breast size depends more on the amount of supporting fibrous and fatty tissue than the amount of milk glands, women with larger breasts do not necessarily produce more breast milk. Breast-milk production is stimulated hormonally and increases with demand. Increasing the frequency of breast-feeding sessions with a baby increases the milk supply. Supply meets demand in most cases. While many factors can affect breast-milk production — fatigue, stress and depression — do not add worry about your breast size to the stresses of motherhood.

 

If you are thinking about breast-feeding, don't discount your ability to breast-feed or give up without talking to a lactation consultant or your pediatrician. There are many ways to try to increase your milk supply, and difficulties occur for many women regardless of size.

 

Breast size does not influence breast-cancer rates or prognosis. Researchers have found that breast size does not affect your risk of breast cancer. In addition, breast size does not affect your treatment outlook. The most common type of breast cancer comes from the cells lining the ducts of the milk-producing glands. Since women with larger breasts do not necessarily have more gland tissue, it makes sense that women with larger breasts do not have a higher risk of cancer. If you are worried about your ability to detect and treat breast cancer if you have larger breasts, remember that the studies do not validate your concerns. You are only more likely to miss cancer if you don't go looking for it with routine screening tests or if you ignore your intuition about a new lump or asymmetry.

 

The only caveat here is that obesity has been found to increase the risk of breast cancer. Overweight women can have larger breasts, but based on studies mentioned above, it appears that obesity is the factor more than breast size. Greater amounts of fat tissue increase the estrogen level, which is probably the cause of increased cancer risk associated with obesity.

 

Breast size does not affect the amount of pain you will have during a mammogram. In one study surveying women about their pain, larger breast size did not make a mammogram more painful. Don't let your fears about pain prevent you from getting appropriate breast-cancer screening.

 

For women with large breasts, physical discomfort is real. Getting past the myths, breast size can affect a woman's daily physical well-being. For instance, many women with larger breasts experience physical discomfort, such as significant neck, shoulder or back pain and headaches. For some of these women, a better-fitting bra may be a simple solution. In addition, losing weight to decrease breast fat will probably help. Despite these efforts, some women find a reduction mammoplasty — surgery to reduce breast size — necessary to relieve pain and discomfort.

 

Breast size has a strong impact on a woman's mental well-being. After all, it's impossible to ignore the emphasis our culture places on breast size. From puberty to adulthood, a woman faces idealized norms and contemplates her potential to measure up. Biases exist against women with large breasts as well as small breasts. A girl or woman with larger breasts may deal with assumptions about her sexuality. A girl or woman with smaller breasts may feel inadequate. Recognizing that these external and internal pressures exist, we must encourage girls and women to become comfortable with their own bodies and dispel the myths.

 

The bottom line for all women is that you shouldn't expect more or less from your body because of your breast size. In particular, your ability to breast-feed and your risk of breast cancer, two of the most important health concerns, are unrelated to size.

 

Alice Y. Chang, M.D., is an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, and on the faculty of the Department of General Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Her clinical interests and experience are in the fields of primary care, women's health, hospital-based medicine, and patient education.

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Coral Rhedd    10

Almost every woman who has ever dieted has been dismayed to find that her breasts were one of the first places she lost weight. That's because breasts are indeed mostly fatty tissue.

 

Now if the cultural ideal is a little waist and big breasts, ala Barbie doll, then a problem arises. How to maintain a little waist while keeping the breasts large? Medical science has found a solution: Breast implants.

 

It is amazing the lengths people will go to in order to fit the cultural ideal. This insight came to me when my daughter and I were thumbing through a fashion magazine. There were many photos Donald Trump's new wife. Her body came as close as humanly possible to the Barbie doll ideal. As I was admiring her enviously, my daughter who works in a fashion boutique scoffed: "Fakes." It seems after a certain amount of fitting room experience, it is easy to spot a boob job.

 

If rich men get women with bigger "breasts" then we would have a clear economic relationship between the size of breasts and the amount of Wooly Mammoth a hunter can drag home.

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Martin    416
Well' date=' this is the first hit on Google, an article by an M.D. who teaches at Harvard on a site that contains "Medical Content Reviewed By Harvard Medical School," so I think it's a fairly reliable source:

 

http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/35320/35321/378037.html?d=dmtHMSContent[/quote']

 

excellent source AFAIK, this is very interesting bascule, thanks.

 

"Breast size does not influence how much breast milk you can or will produce. Because breast size depends more on the amount of supporting fibrous and fatty tissue than the amount of milk glands, women with larger breasts do not necessarily produce more breast milk. Breast-milk production is stimulated hormonally and increases with demand.....

...

Breast size does not influence breast-cancer rates or prognosis. Researchers have found that breast size does not affect your risk of breast cancer. In addition, breast size does not affect your treatment outlook. The most common type of breast cancer comes from the cells lining the ducts of the milk-producing glands. Since women with larger breasts do not necessarily have more gland tissue, it makes sense that women with larger breasts do not have a higher risk of cancer....."

 

Other things (behavioral, hormonal) being equal, it would seem that

"amount of milk glands" influences amount of milk produced.

 

But the point she is making is that there is not a fixed relation between breast volume and "amount of milk glands".

the percent of breast volume that is gland tissue will vary.

 

Again, as she says:

" Since women with larger breasts do not necessarily have more gland tissue,..."

 

However, I suspect that there is a statistical correlation between breast volume and amount of gland tissue.

 

I suspect that breast size is a sensitive issue with many women who are considering whether to nurse or bottlefeed their infants and that this MD expert is, in part, weaseling because she WANTS TO TELL MOTHERS WHAT SHE THINKS THEY OUGHT TO BE TOLD to reduce their anxiety and encourage them to breastfeed.

 

So she tells them there is NO FIXED RELATION between volume and gland tissue-----no fixed percentage of the breast is gland-----the percentage varies. But we are used to that. Part of the arm is muscle, but it is not a fixed percentage. the percentage of the arm volume that is muscle varies from person to person. Still, there is probably a statistical correlation between arm volume and amount of arm muscle.

 

I find the source interesting, but I remain somewhat skeptical (I think the expert may have an ax to grind because of the audience she is addressing, which is non-scientist and possibly in need of reassurance and encouragement). I would be glad to see further source material, if anyone has it.

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