September 6, 2017

A disastrous effort at answering the question "What are breasts for?"



That simple tweet from Man vs. Pink (AKA Simon Ragoonanan) led the publisher not only to apologize profusely but to pulp the entire edition of the book, as reported in "Boys Puberty Book is Pulped After Aging Badly" (NYT).
“We recognize that we have made a mistake. For this we apologize and reiterate that the material will be revised. Our remaining stock will be removed from the warehouse and pulped,” the publisher said....
What exactly is wrong with the simple/simplistic presentation, intended for youngsters? Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and the president of New York’s Child Mind Institute, said:
“It’s an unfortunate statement for a few reasons. One, the audience the book is written for by and large won’t make that shift between scientific fact and humor and, two, if they read it concretely it reinforces the stereotypes we have about boys and girls. It’s a rare pre-pubertal young man who can read a book that is on advice or science and be able to shift from memorizing scientific fact to recognizing something that is tongue in cheek. We do know that young kids are particularly concrete.”
The NYT has no comments section for this article, unfortunately. I'd love to hear some discussion, because I think this is a big overreaction, which ironically shows that adults lack a sense of humor and are uptight about sex. From an evolutionary standpoint, the 2 "reasons" make simple sense, don't they? Are educated, modern people afraid to face up to evolution?

Now, morally, philosophically, and psychologically, it's important to tell young people that their bodies exist for themselves, not to serve the purposes of other people. If you're a person with breasts, you can keep them to yourself if you want or you can choose, if you decide to have a baby, to breastfeed it. You can choose to dress in a way that hides your breasts if you want. It's up to you. There's no purpose you need to fulfill. But this controversy is about a book for boys, and (leaving the transgender question to the side) that means it's about somebody else's body parts, and these boys are going to need to learn to balance their enjoyment of feminine beauty with respect for the independence of the other person.

126 comments:

Rick Turley said...

Because no male over the age of 10 has ever been attracted to them.

wildswan said...

I suppose you can see what is wrong if you ask the question as: what are girls for? And what are boys for? Leading to: Who made them? And why?

No, to teleology. We find our purpose in ourselves by our own choices.

But all existential all the time - does this lead to existential dread?

rcocean said...

Hello Son. Oh, Why do women have breasts?

Good question.

Well, don't tell mommy but its because women like to talk - a lot - about themselves. Endlessly.

So God gave them breasts. That way they can talk about how men are staring - are not staring - at their breasts enough. And how hard it is to have breasts. And how women are different then men because they have breasts. And how women have to listen to other people not talk - or not talk enough - in the right way about their breasts.

And lets not get into breast feeding - or their vagina.

Any way, just remember, when your girlfriend or wife asks you about their breasts, just say they look "spectacular" and nothing else.

Jack Wayne said...

Proving one again that Progressives are the New Puritans. What a strange world they live in.

Real American said...

"reinforces the stereotypes we have about boys and girls."

Which are what, exactly? Oh, right. These days "stereotypes" is PC-talk for self-evident general truths. Guys likes women's boobs. They turn us on. Some guys like boobs more than others. Some prefer legs more. Some guys are "ass men" and so on. Most like all of the above. There is nothing wrong with saying so. You know why? Because it's true. Boobs also produce milk for babies. Evidently, these facts need to be hidden from young boys. Why? Because otherwise they might turn into men, and our society really has no more use for men - only pajama boys.

This is another example of how PC is ruining our culture. We can't speak plain truths without the fucking PC-stapo coming in with their fake-as-fuck outrage and "correcting" us. Then the losers who wrote the book grovel and apologize and for what? For telling the truth?

Maybe the PC Nazis can just burn all remain copies of this book for badspeak. They love burning books, don't they?

furious_a said...

He could have used "mature" instead of "attractive" and avoided the Lookism Police. That's the adjective we used in Jr. High when we first noticed the girls' sweaters fit differently than they did the year before.

Matthew Sablan said...

Since, Althouse wants to hear a discussion, I'm going to put forward an argument that, while simplistic, the statement is technically correct (the best kind of correct). Note that this isn't implying I agree with it, or think that it is the way that sex education should be taught. This is simply a way to approach the argument.

---

The argument: Most animals' bodies do change when they go from child to child-bearing ages. Farmers know this; animals in the wild know this. For example, cats and dogs in heat have physical changes. In addition, most breeding animals, like horses, have physical signs that breeders look for to determine when an animal is ready to be used that way. So, while the book's statement may be... problematic, it is correct, from a biological standpoint.

YoungHegelian said...

Actually, human female breasts are quite an unusual evolutionary development, & yes, they are there to signal fertility to males. Another weird fact of human evolution is that, for their body size, human males have large penises relative to other primates & most other mammals. That, too, is a fertility signaling mechanism.

This baby makin' business, I mean, it's at the very core of why humans look like we do. If a species is going to stick around, it better be.

Are educated, modern people afraid to face up to evolution?

Silly girl! The purpose of the theory evolution is to bash superstitious Christians! It never, ever, has any other results in the natural world that contradict any moral nostrums of progressives.

Jack Wayne said...

This is what I'm talking about. Scratch a Progressive, find a Puritan Communist.

Matthew Sablan said...

"It’s a rare pre-pubertal young man who can read a book that is on advice or science and be able to shift from memorizing scientific fact to recognizing something that is tongue in cheek."

-- We may need to completely stop selling the Cartoon Guides to various sciences since pre-pubertal young men may not be able to shift from memorizing scientific fact to recognizing something that is tongue in cheek. I hope none of their English teachers are teaching them any satire or making them read any parodies!

Matthew Sablan said...

God. Maybe I eat babies today because I read A Modest Proposal in high school and couldn't shift to recognizing something that is tongue in cheek.

The Vault Dweller said...

This is sex ed. There is literally no way that you can avoid snickering from youngsters when you talk about this. Having this message in school book, may help some young boys realize that it is normal for them to like the way breasts look. Since this was aimed at boys, I wouldn't worry to much about the existential crisis of self-autonomy a young girl may experience about realizing boys like breasts. Any young girl who contemplates whether her breasts serving a purpose of attracting boys undermines her sense of self, probably already doesn't have much problem with their sense of self.

Unknown said...

The worst crime you can do, it seems, is to tell the truth.

IgnatzEsq said...

I think I speak for many, maybe even most, Americans when I say "???"

Matthew Sablan said...

I listen to myself all the time. It is an important part of understanding what I say.

Bob Ellison said...

The book cover (right side of graphic) looks like a pack of paper towels.

n.n said...

A woman's breasts have a nature-given orientation, with a close correlation to behavior that becomes viable with her consent.

Matthew Sablan said...

I can. But, no, I won't, because it is not a question being asked in good faith, but is rather, simply an attempt to be vile and ignoring the point of the discussion. Take a moment, re-read everything, and then try again.

brylun said...

I wonder what is the Islamic view of the purpose of breasts? Covered otherwise inviting rape?

Ken B said...

Somebody didn't read what the book actually said before going off on a small boobies rant ...

Fernandinande said...

"a child...": One, the audience the book is written for by and large won’t make that shift between scientific fact and humor

What is the humor?

and, two, if they read it concretely it reinforces the stereotypes we have about boys and girls.

That girls have breasts, one function of which is to advertise sexual maturity? Ha ha that's very humorous.

AA: Are educated, modern people afraid to face up to evolution?

Definitely. Most people hate evolution, "liberals" as much as anyone except the most hard-core Jesus freak. Lysenkoism.

brylun said...

Continuing to explore whether all cultures are indeed equal...

rhhardin said...

Tongue in cheek must itself be tongue in cheek.

Tank said...

More hate facts.

rhhardin said...

Your body isn't for yourself. There's a lot of evolution packed into it.

Even if you don't use it for that, you go around packing breasts or swinging a dick.

Matthew Sablan said...

If the question had been asked in good faith, it would not have been followed up with:

"Does this mean a "developed" girl with big jugs is fuckable/ready to be bred at age 8 or 9 then?"

"Where does your argument end, or are you really good with breeding em once they get their breasts in? *scratch, scratch*"

Which you acknowledge was meant to paint me as a sexual predator; believe it or not, calling someone a sexual predator isn't "good faith." But, if you didn't understood the logical chain of what you were implying, apology accepted.

Matthew Sablan said...

So, to answer the question: The comparison to farm animals is not saying "Humans are just farm animals!" It is saying that this is a parallel we see in other places. We wouldn't say that a doctor who tried to explain the circulatory system by showing an example of a simpler creature would be saying "Humans are just like insects!" It is a misreading of the example.

Likewise, just like humans have overcome other limitations on animals, humans can overcome the desire to mate with people. Not only that, but breasts are not the sole marker of attractiveness or that someone is sexually mature, and assuming it is the only marker, and a strong enough one to completely confuse people, is again, a misreading of what is being discussed.

Earnest Prole said...

Shorter version: Breasts are yummy.

YuriG said...

"Are educated, modern people afraid to face up to evolution?"

Leftists believe in evolution for all animals except human beings. It's always been that way.

rhhardin said...

Breasts are for finding out you're pregnant. Litmus thingies.

tcrosse said...

The sixties called, and they want their aesthetic back.

Do You Like Boobs a Lot ?

rhhardin said...

Breasts appear in the class before boys think much about it. There's a book timing problem if you want the boys' interest.

n.n said...

People still apologize for acknowledging the inconvenient truth that human life evolves from conception. Progress. One step forward, two, sometimes three steps backward.

rhhardin said...

If women had an estrus cycle, they'd be ignored by the guys most of the year. Guys would go by scent.

Then probably the breasts would only appear when pregnant, there being no point to them otherwise.

Assuming a bitch in heat scent isn't marketed, as it is for training tracking dogs to ignore it on a cross track.

iowan2 said...

Yes it is evolutionary. Males picking breeding females by judging their reproductive potential. This is not something that is thought about, it's deep lizard brain. But it is normal. Society then skews nature, and pushes what ever society is pushing at any given time
The answer is, no. Just because a woman has small breast does not mean she us un breedable. Like all things in nature, there are extremes at either end of the spectrum. It's nature, get over it.

Jupiter said...

Chimpanzees feed milk to their young, and they have no breasts. You don't need a big lump of fat to support lactation.

I think Dr. Koplewicz is probably an idiot, but he is substantially correct. Children are best left to figure this out from being confused by endless hours of "adult" television. Then they can graduate to internet pornography, when they're a little older.

Matthew Sablan said...

You miss the point.

The argument isn't that "we've evolved," it is that, "that thing that we said is offensive now." Not "it isn't true." The argument is saying that breasts evolved for those two reasons. Simply by shaming people into thinking that breasts no longer mean the second doesn't defeat the argument.

rhhardin said...

When there were arranged marriages, the loyalty was to the marriage; which worked out as loyalty to the other person without its being intended.

Going on the attraction of the moment isn't so reliable, even if it's marketed as the reason.

Bob Loblaw said...

Ah, modern leftists: Accusing everyone else of being anti-science while rejecting basic biology.

rhhardin said...

Breasts are especially important in mammals.

brylun said...

Is an arranged marriage to your cousin a good thing? See Islam. Are all cultures equal?

Jupiter said...

The evolution argument is not as tight as most people assume. Darwin noticed that many birds have tails so long that they slow them down, and make them less able to obtain food and more likely to become food. But the females are attracted to the male with the longest tail. So it becomes a reproductive advantage, even though it's an existential handicap.

But it is a rare woman who can't find a man to reproduce with if she wants to. Like guys won't fuck flat-chested women? Show me these guys. I think this is just another case of evolution being unfalsifiable. When you find something that doesn't make evolutionary sense, the evolutionists just think up a new explanation. Just like the creationists used to do. And the Freudians. Explaining is easy. Predicting is hard.

rhhardin said...

Breasts are there as a standard of softness if you don't have eierdown handy.

Matthew Sablan said...

It is pretty sexist to assume that males in society naturally breed with attractive and adult-seeming females. That's a lot of psychology that we'd need to see backed up.

Matthew Sablan said...

I actually *fully* intended for people to read it in the overly literal way that you did. With the point being to show *why* the argument is flawed. Because, despite there being some biological backing, to make the argument opens people up to the sort of targeted, conversation ending shaming that you immediately jumped into.

rhhardin said...

And when upon your dainty breast I laid
My wearied head, softer than eiderdown

- Stedman

Matthew Sablan said...

Well, not why the argument is flawed, so much as, why making the purely biological argument is one that isn't worth doing. Because people will deliberately read into it as negatively as possible, deliberately mischaracterize it, and try and shame the person making the argument.

No one in the argument I put forward made value judgments ("we ought to treat people like X," or "Y is only good for Z.") It was purely a statement of reproductive biology ("in most animals, of which humans are an animal, biologically speaking, X means Y in most cases, therefore, saying X means Y in humans is not wrong.")

You immediately followed up with calling the imaginary me making the argument a sexual predator, and attempted to spin all sorts of strawmen. You turned an argument discussing the facts posited into a value argument instead of what it was. That's the point of the argument; that it can't be made without being poisoned.

rhhardin said...

Arguments should be judged by carats, not only flaws.

n.n said...

Evolution is a chaotic process, which may or may not produce human-approved, understood results.

rhhardin said...

Men evolved to value women with a sense of humor, which women have learned to fake.

Matthew Sablan said...

Contemplating and doing are two different things.

rhhardin said...

Humor implants.

Jupiter said...

"Now, morally, philosophically, and psychologically, it's important to tell young people that their bodies exist for themselves, not to serve the purposes of other people."

Aren't you assuming rather a lot there? I mean, it can hardly be morally, philosophically and psychologically important to tell young people something that isn't true, can it? Or can it? Anyway, it is not evident that the question of the purpose of a person's body is a decidable one. But if it is, aren't you one of those enlightened people who believe that a person's body should not exist at all if it inconveniences her mother? That would seem to belie your claim. Of course, it isn't important to tell young people anything if you kill them before they are born.

Matthew Sablan said...

"(Flip the argument, and develop the theory that once young males start to show body or facial hair, then they are adults and fair game for adult women who are definitely attracted? Not matter the biological age, the development is enhanced because the body parts are ripe?)"

-- See what I mean by taking a factual argument ("Breasts are often a sign of sexual maturity in women.") and turning it into a value argument ("People if they show markers of sexual maturity are "fair game" for adults to have sex with.")?

iowan2 said...

So that begs the question again:
Are human female animals sexually mature and in an "adult" state of development, ready to be bred, once they develop breasts?

In nature they get picked last by the weakest male. If they get picked at all. Darwin? Survival of the Fittest? Any of that ring a bell?

Steven said...

Hmm? Of course it should be pulped for its blatant scientific inaccuracy. Human women don't need prominent breasts to feed babies, any more than any other great apes need prominent breasts to feed babies.

The sole purpose of the hypermastia in human females compared to other great apes is to signal sexual maturity -- that is, to look "grown-up and attractive" to potential mates. Even ones with what what humans by human standards judge to have "essentially no breast tissue" have hypermastia by the standards of the other great apes.

It is true that in the modern era, very different from the ancestral conditions under which human female hypermastia evolved, breast tissue often develops prematurely. But that doesn't change the underlying purpose of the evolution of hypermastia; it just means it is prematurely triggered in the modern artificial environment.

rhhardin said...

Breasts have been perky only since 1937.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=perky

Matthew Sablan said...

That's got to be one of the most racist things I've seen said here, and we have had trolls that TRY to be racist.

Sebastian said...

If enough boys learn about why they pulped this book, it will teach them something about what it means to grow up to be boys in the age of prog culture wars.

Earnest Prole said...

All this breast talk is beating around the bush. If you want a real argument, try "If you're old enough to bleed you're old enough to breed."

tcrosse said...

If it's all about hitting 'em hard, once they ripen, and de-volving to farm animal standards of when a woman is ripe and ready, then I sense a further decline in the white race. You've got years of civilization to overcome to get back to that thump-and-hump stage of animal husbandry...

My Grandma, a German peasant immigrant, gave a similar speech to my well-brought-up big sister shortly after her marriage. Sis' jaw hung open, to hear such talk from Grandma. She ended up having three kids.

Read it fast, before our gracious hostess cleans house.

iowan2 said...

What does race have to do with the answer to the question???? Why do females have breasts? Trying to inject race tells us all that you have backed your self into a corner, trying to defend the idiocy of bending to the PC police.

What does your racist rant prove in an all black population? Or all Asian, etc.??? Answer? Nothing. Its a stupid non sequitur, that misses the conversation by a mile

Bob Ellison said...

They are pretty. They seem nurturing. I hope that women who lose their breasts realize that there's plenty left to love.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"You can choose to dress in a way that hides your breasts if you want. It's up to you."

Atlhouse is cute w/ her bohemian naiveté.

No little lady, in 'Murica gals can't choose to dress in a way that hides titties.

That's mandatory 'round here.

If you insist on hairy armpits and legs, you can have those. But, yur gonna need to pay the gardener extra for danger pay.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Just more tit for tat.

Luke Lea said...

There's something totalitarian going on.

n.n said...

And pussies are worn by female chauvinists to cover their heads in shame. A kind of monument, perhaps memorial, to the unknown baby. Tres chic for the upwardly weird and divergent.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Do we really wait until the mid-20s for the late bloomers whose bodies take longer to mature to label them as "grown up and attractive"?

That's absurd. What woman is still going through puberty in the mid-20's? Girls go through puberty earlier than boys do. I went to an all-girl high school and I can assure you that by 16, the die is cast - you either have bazooms at that age or you don't, and the girls who were flat then were still flat when we had our 10 year high school reunion, with the exception of one who had had a pretty obvious boob job.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"I think it also has something to do with diet: the foods/chemicals you consume, and caloric restriction how early or late our bodies age/develop."

Ha ha.

Don't spend much time in LA, do ya?

OTOH, maybe a very loose interpretation of 'consuming chemicals' could cover fake tits.

Gahrie said...

I'd love to hear some discussion, because I think this is a big overreaction, which ironically shows that adults lack a sense of humor and are uptight about sex.

Change "adults" to "feminists and SJWs" and I'd agree with you.

Gahrie said...

By the way..don't lesbians find women's breasts attractive just like men do?

n.n said...

Breasts are one physical characteristic of the feminine gender, that are closely correlated with the female sex, but do not exclusively define the sex. Pussies, however, are an exclusive feature of the feminine gender and female sex, unless they are worn to cover the heads of female chauvinists in their shame.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

I had no trouble figuring it out at that age. The absurdity of political correctness is that everybody actually knows the score. Having written that it occurs to me that political correctness does have a civilizational (no idea if that's a word) purpose. Shouting "bodacious rack!" in a crowded theater is not conducive to a civil society.

Gahrie said...

It’s a rare pre-pubertal young man who can read a book that is on advice or science and be able to shift from memorizing scientific fact to recognizing something that is tongue in cheek

What do breasts have to do with tossing salads?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"What do breasts have to do with tossing salads?"

It's a 69/T.F. combo thing-y.

David said...

So breasts are not part of a woman's mechanism for sexual attraction?

Oh boy did that ever fool me.

Mark Anderson said...

I doubt that you could find a better or more poetic answer, in so few words, that any boy would understand

traditionalguy said...

Making a clean breast of it is tittilating fun that boys find hard to ignore. All this fun must stop..,burn the boob books and blind their eyes for seeing women as different.

Big Mike said...

Interesting. Why do we men like to look at breasts? I can't think of any evolutionary advantage from being drawn to breasts. Yet we do? What would happen if we weren't? Nothing bad that I can think of.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Virtually all breasts, no matter what size or shape they end up when a girl finishes puberty, can do both things."

Body positive.

Freeman Hunt said...

"We will not have sex infiltrating our sex ed!"

Bay Area Guy said...

Overthinking!

Jeez, those nerdy logothetes at NYT will take the pizazz outta sex with their ponderous prose.

I'm thinking summer in Lake Tahoe at age 16, mini golf with Alison T, backseat of Dad's car, make-out session, the bra is gently removed....oh shucks, brake hard!, entering Laslo Spatula territory - mission fail!

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martin said...

So female breasts are NOT a secondary sexual characteristic? Who knew? Until last week, that is.

The reference to being attractive was NOT tongue in cheek, it was a reference to secondary sexual characteristics. Now, maybe it was age-inappropriate--maybe. But given the culture that surrounds all our children, it would be a very sheltered or very dim boy who didn't know that people make a big thing about women's breasts that has nothing to do with feeding babies...

walter said...

Women's breasts are the same as men's. But if you tittie twist a womyn, you go to jail..or sumpin. And oh..when they press them together during sex (no matter how small) with that "Are you really forgetting these, fucker?" look, you must sufficiently stimulate those kinda male equivalent bits...because "breast orgasm" and some such...

Yancey Ward said...

What is in the section, "What is a penis for?"

Jay Elink said...

Oh fer chrissake!

When marilyn J and I were rolling around in the back seat in the 9th grade we *both* knew what breasts were for!!!

Tiny nipples, pale white aureoles---and still plenty to work with.

Yowsa!!

Achilles said...

Big Mike said...
Interesting. Why do we men like to look at breasts? I can't think of any evolutionary advantage from being drawn to breasts. Yet we do? What would happen if we weren't? Nothing bad that I can think of.

The theory I heard was it was easier for flat faced babies to suck on protruding nipples and that made women with breasts more attractive for breeding/childbearing.

I thought that theory was fairly prevalent...

Jay Elink said...

Big Mike said...
Interesting. Why do we men like to look at breasts? I can't think of any evolutionary advantage from being drawn to breasts. Yet we do? What would happen if we weren't? Nothing bad that I can think of.

**********

Ya think it has anything to do with fecundity? YA THINK?

Derp.

Jay Elink said...

walter said...
Women's breasts are the same as men's

****************************

Walter, are you actually from this planet?

How many men wear bras? During sex how many men like their nipples kissed, suck and had tongues rolled around them?

How many stories underground is you mom's basement?

walter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
walter said...

Hi Jay,
Nice to meet you.
Fuck you..GOT IT? No. You. Don't.
Learn humor..get back to us.
Thanks!

walter said...

(Based on repetition, I suspect you wear a bra)
It's ok, dude..big tent here.

walter said...

(the in yer mom's basement bit is potent as it is original though)

William said...

I think books should die a natural death and be allowed to go out of print or remaindered. Pulping a book sounds so violent. It's like a discreet, genteel form of book burning........It's kind of paradoxical but we are at our most fully human when we are contemplating breasts rather than, say, Euclid's theorems. "If eyes were made for seeing, then breasts are their own excuse for being."

Bruce Hayden said...

"Actually, human female breasts are quite an unusual evolutionary development, & yes, they are there to signal fertility to males. Another weird fact of human evolution is that, for their body size, human males have large penises relative to other primates & most other mammals. That, too, is a fertility"

I think that there are multiple facets here. I don't think that breasts signal fertility, as much as sexual maturity. I would suggest that fully perky breasts are the better indicator of fertility, and dropping or sagging indicates the lessening of fertility. I am thinking right now of Emma Watson's breasts, and why I thought they were so sexy, when she showed them off - because they weren't saggy in the least. Which maybe one of the reasons that women wear the bras that they do.

The key here is that human female breasts are notably larger than they need to be to provide their primary purpose - lactation of mammalian infants. And that has evolved over the last maybe 7 million years, since we separated evolutionarily from chimps, whose females do not have outsized breasts. Why? One theory is that they mimic female buttocks, and are/were used to move make attraction from the rear to the front to accommodate the shift in vaginal orientation due to our upright position that allows us to easily walk and run. Chimp sex is still rear entry, as is the case with most mammals. Human sex in primarily front entry, presumably due to that vaginal orientation. Frontal sex may also facilitate pair bonding, advantageous when our dependency phase is so extended (due to brain size issues).

And that gets into the next aspect. Excessive breast size (above needed to adequately lactate) is, in some respects, a waste in resources, as well as decreasing a female's ability to walk, and, esp run. As noted above, in many species, it is the males who have these apparent maladaptions, not the females. (And, yes, from above - such sex specific maladaptions do apparently signal fertility). Why do our females the ones who have the sexual maladaptions, and not the makes, as is typically the case? I think the best theory is our pair mating/pair bonding. Which is another evolutionary adaption driven by our greatly extended parental dependency. Larger female buttocks may also have similar purpose.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Interesting. Why do we men like to look at breasts? I can't think of any evolutionary advantage from being drawn to breasts. Yet we do? What would happen if we weren't? Nothing bad that I can think of."

See above - as a species, we procreate better with front entry, than rear entry. It's a number thing - any one couple may do just fine doing it mostly doggie style. For one thing, sperm probably stay in, and move in the right direction, thanks to the orientation of the human female vagina - down during (and just after sex) for front entry, and up for rear entry (opposite most other mammals, which use rear entry).

Bruce Hayden said...

"So female breasts are NOT a secondary sexual characteristic? Who knew? Until last week, that is.

The reference to being attractive was NOT tongue in cheek, it was a reference to secondary sexual characteristics. Now, maybe it was age-inappropriate--maybe. But given the culture that surrounds all our children, it would be a very sheltered or very dim boy who didn't know that people make a big thing about women's breasts that has nothing to do with feeding babies..."

I would go beyond that they are a secondary sexual characteristic to that they are a sexual lure. Not maybe what you want to be telling young boys, of course. But the reason that I was initially bothered by the book section was that it is definitely not something that I would be telling young girls. Most girls know this instinctively. I say "most", because my partner seems to have not understood as well as maybe she should have (kinda oblivious sometimes). But she recounts how her daughters obsessed over their breasts as they developed - or didn't. They want to look sexually mature and attractive well before they realize exactly what that means in their interactions with males of the species.

The problem, for me, is that males of the species are wired to respond to secondary sexual characteristics, and esp. what I termed above sexual lures. We see them, and react physically before we really analyze and realize what we just saw. It is instinctual. And then women complain when men treat them as sex objects. It is hard not to, when our instinctual sexual responses are being manipulated by women accentuating the seondary sexual characteristics that trigger those instinctual responses.

Which is why telling a girl that her breasts make her attractive bothers me. (And, yes - I am overreacting here, since this was, apparently aimed at boys). This seems to imply that accentuating sexual characteristics by females is good. I don't think that it is in many cases. Not that it makes them look like they want to be raped (but with all the Muzzie makes out there any more, that is an issue), but if a woman wants to excel in a "man's world", she needs to detune, deemphasize, those secondary sexual characteristics, not emphasize them, so that she will be taken as an individual, and not a sex object, by the men she is working with. So that she reduces, not increases, the times that males around her respond instinctively to her sexuality. Attractiveness on a day to day basis shouldn't mean heightened sexual attractiveness to the males around her.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Another weird fact of human evolution is that, for their body size, human males have large penises relative to other primates & most other mammals. That, too, is a fertility"

Not sure if I agree. The basic problem here is that human males are hierarchical, and human females respond to male indicia of hierarchical rank in picking their mates, since higher ranking males tend to have more resources to provide them and their children than lower ranking males. Such traits as height and shoulder width are better indicia of male rank than penis size. And, the reality is that most penises are relatively comparable in size, and get their intended sexual job done just fine. The key to remember is that we are evolutionaryily adapted to pair bond. That is a big difference as contrasted to most species where the primary drive is for makes to impregnate as many females as possible.

Which gets to the other part of this - penis size tends to evolve to the size and width to get the job done. If it would be evolutionarily advantageous for it to be longer, it will lengthen over the generations. And get wider if that helps too. So, I would suggest that human penis size is more a function of our other anatomy and behaviors. In particular, I would expect that a longer penis length is a result of front entry and an upright posture, lengthening, maybe, the female torso. And maybe wider due to a wider vagina, due to newborn cranial size. Indeed, I would suggest it more likely that female vaginas evolved in response to both these factors (walking upright and infant head size), and make penis size evolved to maximally utilize such, without wasting resources.

urbane legend said...

rhhardin said...
Men evolved to value women with a sense of humor, which women have learned to fake.

:-) Nope, nope, sorry. You can fake a good many things, but you either have a sense of humor or don't. This is especially obvious with women.

Bob said...

These are silly people but it is their system. I recognize that I will never be in their customer base.

Biotrekker said...

The book said true things about women so it must be destroyed.

Laslo Spatula said...

Ed Gein had a third reason for breasts.

I am Laslo.

Fred Rawlings said...

In other news,
Five nurses in Denver were suspended for three weeks by their hospital after they reportedly opened a body bag to view a deceased patient’s genitals and admire their size, according to local media reports.

Caligula said...

"There's no purpose you need to fulfill."

If life has no purpose, then this is surely true. BUT stating that one has ownership of one's body, although true in this culture and legal system, is nonetheless a culture-bound assertion.

"The evolution argument is not as tight as most people assume ... But it is a rare woman who can't find a man to reproduce with if she wants to."

Is it really necessary to note that the Darwinian imperative here is not merely to reproduce, but to reproduce with the best quality male(s) available?

sparrow said...

PC is an insidious enemy of truth and is both divisive and tyrannical. I'm amazed at it's power and long reach. It undermines trust, rejects charity and weakens the sense of community through a thousand small wounds. It poisons every ordinary conversation putting us constantly on guard lest we offend some self-appointed arbiter of speech. Not even childrens books escape.

Bruce Hayden said...

""The evolution argument is not as tight as most people assume ... But it is a rare woman who can't find a man to reproduce with if she wants to.""

"Is it really necessary to note that the Darwinian imperative here is not merely to reproduce, but to reproduce with the best quality male(s) available?"

There is another aspect. Yes, at an older level of programming, human females seek the highest quality sperm that they can get. But more recently, clearly since we diverged genetically from the other apes probably roughly 7 million years ago, we developed pair bonding which provides additional resources to our mothers and their young children, increasing their ability to survive and procreate themselves. Sure, there is a bit of cuckoldery, where females cheat their mates by acquiring superior genetic material from males other than their mate, but the penalties have always been high enough that there isn't an obnoxious amount of that going on. Socialism and welfare may be seen as attempts by females to free themselves from that burden, so that they can just worry about attracting alpha males for the minutes it takes to conceive, and not have to worry about having to keep a beta male around as a mate, with the state providing that material support instead. Of course, we know, as they say, that wonen who go that route choose poorly. Sure, their kids aren't liable to die from starvation or predation by lions, as they would have in the past, without a mate. Instead, their male children, growing up unfathered, are far more likely to end up dead early or incarcerated, and their girl children pregnant at a too young age, further locked in a descending dependency cycle. Neither sex of children likely to get educated, nor break the cycle. You just have to look at inner city lower class black communities, and their high as ncidences of gang violence, substance abuse, and illegitimacy to see why that is not an optimal survival strategy.

sparrow said...

Today the greatest evolutionary selective pressure is whether a mother believes in abortion or not.

Smilin' Jack said...

Girls have breasts for two reasons - feeding babies and looking grown-up and attractive.

Girls have breasts for feeding babies like peacocks have tails for flying.

Caligula said...

" at an older level of programming, human females seek the highest quality sperm that they can get."

"Best quality" presumably would include the best overall deal she could get: best sperm, but also best provisioning, maximum reflected status, whatever furthers the production and survival of high-quality offspring. The cuckolding option unfolds because most women will be able to attract higher quality males for an assignation than they can get for a long-term relationship that includes provisioning, help with childcare, etc.

And, well, our species is far older than neolithic-revolution civilization, so presumably we're adapted for Darwinian success in environments we no longer live and reproduce in.

pdug said...

1. Why couldn't they show the girls faces?

2. Do they show the face of a transgender girl?

Meade said...

"Today the greatest evolutionary selective pressure is whether a mother believes in abortion or not."

Mothers have believed in abortion for 200,000 years. It's just that for the most part they believed abortion/infanticide was up to the will of some kind of higher power outside themselves. The greatest evolutionary selective pressure on humans has always been and still is scarcity and insecurity.

sparrow said...

"The greatest evolutionary selective pressure on humans has always been and still is scarcity and insecurity."

Outside the developed world this is true but abortion has selected against millions in the developed world: far exceeding death by disease or scarcity.

sparrow said...

Really it would be more evolutionarily accurate to talk about selective effect of contraception generally rather than abortion alone because that effect is even greater still.

Jupiter said...

"The greatest evolutionary selective pressure on humans has always been and still is scarcity and insecurity."

Meade, I don't think that is so, at least not in America. American women had far more children in the past, when scarcity was much worse than at present. Not sure what you mean by "insecurity", but everyone lives in interesting times.

I do think you are correct, that women used to regard having children as simply what happened. Contraceptives and abortion have given women control of how many children they have, and many apparently don't want large families. But that lack of desire is a biological trait, and subject to evolutionary pressure. It didn't use to matter much what women wanted, what they got was pregnant. Now that they are in a position to get what they want, evolution will undoubtedly take notice.

Meade said...

Well okay, but when it comes to "survival of the fittest," I think it's reasonable to predict that as the modern world continues to develop, more and more, the "fittest" will be only of the conceptions mom intentionally wants to keep and her desire will continue to be based on her sense of security about her supply of goods.

sparrow said...

I'm not sure about the security/contraception relationship. I thought (but do not know to what degree) that contraception was more common among the wealthy, so as not to be driven by security concerns alone, at least not material security.

Sigivald said...

"We f*cking love science!"

Until it's awkward or annoying or asserts the wrong things.

walter said...

Breast milk lattes
Hey..the World Dairy Expo is coming. That's where I heard phrases like "She's very dairy." and "a virtual milk-wagon".

Maddad said...

I like boobs.

Brandon Bowers said...

No, it just shows that Harold S. Koplewicz is uptight and humorless, and probably not just about sex.

Micha Elyi said...

Gen-X is oddly prudish. Is this Man vs. Pink character distressed because there's no IngSoc Junior Anti-Sex League for him to join?

Char Char Binks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Char Char Binks said...

Breasts are for babies and lesbians to suckle. Even Laslo should agree with that.

Student_of_The_north said...

Since everyone here is wondering why women evolved breasts, I thought I would share this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcrxNBlqrbM

This guy has some great stuff on his channel that I would suggest you check out when you have time. Especially his videos on the power that women held in ancient society.

Ed Longshanks said...

The entire culture from religious right to irreligious left has been taken over by the Church Lady.
http://eroticchristian.com/church-ladies-stop-feminizing-christ/