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-   -   Why are breasts so variable in size? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=796572)

jtur88 06-23-2016 11:04 AM

Why are breasts so variable in size?
 
What could account for the fact that human female breasts vary so widely in size, within a range that is considered normal? Everybody knows women whose breast size, from one individual to another, varies within a range of about 10:1 ratio, and are considered normal size.

Is there any other part of the human body that can vary that much in size from one healthy person to another? Or, for that matter, in any other species of animal?

beowulff 06-23-2016 12:11 PM

Why are breasts so variable in size?

The powers than be love men?

Colibri 06-23-2016 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beowulff (Post 19427132)
Why are breasts so variable in size?

The powers than be love men?

Moderator Note

Let's avoid joke answers in GQ until some factual answers are posted. Nor do I want to see this become a thread about opinions about what size breasts you like. You're welcome to start another thread in another forum about size preferences (or if you must) titty jokes.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

Exapno Mapcase 06-23-2016 01:03 PM

There is a book on every subject, which means I own a book on every subject. Specifically, I own Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams. And this exact question is asked.

But never answered. The question is raised during a look at why humans developed larger breasts than other primates. That answer appears to be for fat storage. She never gets around to a direct discussion of variability, even in the chapters devoted to breast augmentation.

I might have missed an answer, since I wasn't reading for that, so you might want to find the book for yourself. It's more breezy journalism than academic in tone and is a fast and fascinating read.

Asuka 06-23-2016 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase (Post 19427312)
There is a book on every subject, which means I own a book on every subject. Specifically, I own Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams. And this exact question is asked.

But never answered. The question is raised during a look at why humans developed larger breasts than other primates. That answer appears to be for fat storage. She never gets around to a direct discussion of variability, even in the chapters devoted to breast augmentation.

I might have missed an answer, since I wasn't reading for that, so you might want to find the book for yourself. It's more breezy journalism than academic in tone and is a fast and fascinating read.

Yeah I picked up the book on an audible sale and while enjoyable the book didn't really answer any of the questions I had about breasts in the first place.

Asuka 06-23-2016 01:19 PM

This is all my best guess going from books I read and has nothing backing it but my memory, but the idea being that in the very beginnings of humanity breasts were uniform in size but as civilization advanced and different cultures took different ideas about breasts they became things for sexual arousal and as a result changed size accordingly. Some cultures preferred large breasts as an indicator of good health so in those societies the busty women were the ones with the most off-spring and their off-spring wound up passing the busty genes as well. In other societies the opposite happened, smaller breasts were valued as large breasts were believed to indicate women in poor health and those genes were spread. Though trade and mass migrations have made this less obvious in modern communities you can still see what societies valued large breasts based on their average cup size once you control for obesity and other stats. Russian women tend to be the bustiest in the world on average because in their society very large breasts were the most sexually attractive feature to men.

robby 06-23-2016 01:19 PM

My WAG: women's breasts are a secondary sex chacteristic that, for many men, heavily influences their attractiveness. This in turn affects whether or not women with certain breast chacteristics are likely to reproduce and pass the relevant genes on to their progeny.

All men do not have the same preferences for a given breast size (which is also affected by social factors, I expect), so it is not surprising that a wide variation of breast sizes might arise.

TroutMan 06-23-2016 01:30 PM

Googling led me to The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature by Geoffrey Miller. I read only a few pertinent pages from here, so I can't evaluate if there is any scientific backing for this or if the guy is a complete quack.

Miller suggests it is due to men selecting partners based on different indicators of fitness. One fitness indicator might be larger breasts, indicating adequate nutrition. Another might be a tall and muscular build, which is not necessarily correlated with breast size. Fitness indicators would be genetically prioritized under conditions of "scarce bodily resources." In his view, this explains why "not all women have very large breasts - many women may be genetically programmed to prioritize other indicators of physical and mental fitness."

I'm not totally sold on this.

Ignotus 06-23-2016 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtur88 (Post 19426924)
Is there any other part of the human body that can vary that much in size from one healthy person to another?

Bellies and buttocks? Come to think of it, hands also; specifically male ones.

md2000 06-23-2016 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robby (Post 19427371)
My WAG: women's breasts are a secondary sex chacteristic that, for many men, heavily influences their attractiveness. This in turn affects whether or not women with certain breast chacteristics are likely to reproduce and pass the relevant genes on to their progeny.

All men do not have the same preferences for a given breast size (which is also affected by social factors, I expect), so it is not surprising that a wide variation of breast sizes might arise.

There's this, but I'll argue the opposite. Beyond a certain basic point, men are not particularly choosey. Within a certain range, breast size has no impact on, say, ability to feed a child properly. So as long as breasts are not so big they cause medical issues, and not so small that the children starve, any size is acceptable in an evolutionary sense.

It appears to me from random observation, that while approximate breast size is hereditary, the variation in size is either easily mutated, or influenced by random genes, environment and nutrition, etc. so size could change a certain amount from one generation to the next. Perhaps size is very "adaptable".

There is decent variation in every culture, so I doubt that cultural influences have much result. I recall reading once about women in China with large breasts who complained it was perceived as a sign of promiscuity - but despite the negative (or positive, depending on gender viewpoint) connotations, there were still quite a few women so endowed.

Or, as I once mentioned when discussing this topic at the bar... "Anything over a mouthful is wasted, anyway."

One o the other guys replied (timing it so I was in the middle of taking a swig) "If that's the case, how come women never say the same about men?"

JR Brown 06-23-2016 02:50 PM

I don't know if anyone has come up with any even remotely plausible theories on variation in breast size; there are plenty of WAGs but no evidence. My suspicion is that it's a factor of, on the one hand, the degree of overall fat accumulation, and, on the other, random variation; the same as responsible for height / shape / side differences in any other body part.

Quote:

Originally Posted by md2000 (Post 19427513)
Within a certain range, breast size has no impact on, say, ability to feed a child properly. So as long as breasts are not so big they cause medical issues, and not so small that the children starve, any size is acceptable in an evolutionary sense.

The adult female breast in humans is largely fat; the mammary glands and associated plumbing don't take up much space. Consequently, there is no "too small" to feed an infant; gorillas and chips nurse their young just fine with little breast development.

Surreal 06-23-2016 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtur88 (Post 19426924)
What could account for the fact that human female breasts vary so widely in size, within a range that is considered normal?

Lots of women have large breasts due to the fact that they're overweight. Once you adjust for body weight I don't think there's much variability in breast size. Have you ever seen a thin woman with large natural breasts? Have you ever seen a morbidly obese woman (or man, for that matter) with small breasts? It's not common.

Colibri 06-23-2016 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surreal (Post 19427716)
Have you ever seen a thin woman with large natural breasts?

It's not uncommon for me to see thin (or at least below average in weight) women with large natural breasts.

While weight and other factors account for some of the variation, there's still a lot of variation in women of low to average weight.

Surreal 06-23-2016 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colibri (Post 19427754)
It's not uncommon for me to see thin (or at least below average in weight) women with large natural breasts.

While weight and other factors account for some of the variation, there's still a lot of variation in women of low to average weight.

I would consider the upper limit of being "thin" to be 100 lbs for the first 5 ft. of height, plus an addition 5 lbs for every inch of height beyond 5 ft. And most people would consider the lower limit of "large" breasts to be a D cup.

Not very women who fall within this weight range will have natural D cups. I would guess that Russia would have the largest concentration of such women.

Fear Itself 06-23-2016 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtur88 (Post 19426924)
Is there any other part of the human body that can vary that much in size from one healthy person to another?

Ears, noses and feet?

janeslogin 06-23-2016 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtur88 (Post 19426924)
...Is there any other part of the human body that can vary that much in size from one healthy person to another? Or, for that matter, in any other species of animal?

I vaguely remember from my university days there is a statistical method where one measures all distances from some point, performs some arithmetic, squaring and summing and square-rooting -some such - to determine how similar or different curves are. Breast attracting so much attention, some one must have done a 3-D variation and compared them to other body parts.

watchwolf49 06-23-2016 04:44 PM

I'll be hard pressed to find the citation on this ... but it does have a certain logic. What a man finds attractive in a woman is the hip-to-waist ratio ... a nice broad birth channel delivers healthier children AND better odds the mother herself doesn't die ... it's only been in the past hundred years that deliveries became routinely survivable.

Obviously there's more to this and also obvious is we really don't know what makes us attractive to one another ... seems like all the research winds up as being inconclusive.

Beer ... that's gets everybody laid ...

beowulff 06-23-2016 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surreal (Post 19427884)
I would guess that Russia would have the largest concentration of such women.

No - Poland.

(At least, from my admittedly unscientific observation. Polish women are by far the most commonly thin-waisted and busty. And, beautiful , if I might add).

aceplace57 06-23-2016 04:57 PM

Asian women are often smaller breasted. they are often very thin too.

aceplace57 06-23-2016 05:01 PM

Cite a gene study on why Asians have unique traits
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/02/15...tic-level.html

md2000 06-23-2016 05:04 PM

Another factor might be fat accumulation. As mentioned by others, the breasts contain a large amounts of fat. My general observation again has been that fat distribution can vary - some layer it on lower more on the butt, some higher, some around the middle, some mainly on the stomach, some all over... especially for women. Generally, men accumulate fat either mainly on the stomach, or all over. So there may not exactly be a breast-size gene as a "where shall I store accumulated fat" gene that gives a certain amount of preference to the breasts.

Trinopus 06-23-2016 05:54 PM

I'm not sure of this, so please, someone, help me out... But wouldn't it be polygenetic? (As opposed to blue eyes, which are brought out by a single gene.) Like skin color: there isn't just one gene for "dark skin," but several genes, so you can get gradations of color.

Another argument for it being polygenetic is that mothers and daughters can differ very widely in breast size. There is some heritable correlation -- larger mothers tend to have larger daughters -- but there are so many exceptions that it can't be a really simple genetic heritage.

Or maybe I'm wrong...

(ETA: also, diet, including some food additives/contaminants that are so influential, they gave even boys breasts.)

Urbanredneck 06-23-2016 05:58 PM

A bigger question is why do breasts make men act so dumb?

Hail Ants 06-23-2016 07:20 PM

It's been a while since I read it, but in socio-anthropologist Desmond Morris' book The Naked Ape he posits the idea that large, permanently swollen human female breasts evolved after walking upright, as a way of mimicking the curvy round shape of a woman's ass. IOW it makes her look sexy (while standing on two legs) from both front and behind.

I don't know if there's any official statistics, but I would guess that average size breasts are, well, the average. That overall they don't really vary that much in size, that extra-large or small ones are statistical anomalies. But they all get noticed roughly equally because, well, guys are hardwired to notice them no matter what.

Flyer 06-23-2016 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surreal (Post 19427884)
I would consider the upper limit of being "thin" to be 100 lbs for the first 5 ft. of height, plus an addition 5 lbs for every inch of height beyond 5 ft. And most people would consider the lower limit of "large" breasts to be a D cup.

Not very women who fall within this weight range will have natural D cups. I would guess that Russia would have the largest concentration of such women.

Quote:

Originally Posted by beowulff (Post 19428026)
No - Poland.

(At least, from my admittedly unscientific observation. Polish women are by far the most commonly thin-waisted and busty. And, beautiful , if I might add).

It's basically a 3-way tie between Russia, Ukraine, and Poland for the highest per-capita concentration of beautiful women.

Critical1 06-23-2016 07:31 PM

The short answer is because evolution never weeded out either small or large (or in between) breast sizes. As to why some women have huge ones is probably the bigger question since our ape ancestors have essentially none. Random mutation that does not increase the likely hood of an early death is a mutation that is likely to spread. If if confers an actually benefit to survival then it is very likely to spread.

or I have no idea either.

MLS 06-23-2016 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus (Post 19428189)
I'm not sure of this, so please, someone, help me out... But wouldn't it be polygenetic? (As opposed to blue eyes, which are brought out by a single gene.) Like skin color: there isn't just one gene for "dark skin," but several genes, so you can get gradations of color.

Another argument for it being polygenetic is that mothers and daughters can differ very widely in breast size. There is some heritable correlation -- larger mothers tend to have larger daughters -- but there are so many exceptions that it can't be a really simple genetic heritage.

Or maybe I'm wrong...

(ETA: also, diet, including some food additives/contaminants that are so influential, they gave even boys breasts.)

Genes come to a woman from her father as well as from her mother, remember.

If a daughter's shape is unlike her own mother, look at her paternal female relatives. My sister and I are both about average to below average in breast size. My niece and my older daughter are both very well endowed. So were my mother-in-law and my sister's mother-in law.

I remember shortly after my niece achieved puberty she walked past my sister and me as she was going outside to sunbathe. We both looked at her, and at each other, and commented, "Where did all THAT come from?"

Trinopus 06-23-2016 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MLS (Post 19428694)
Genes come to a woman from her father as well as from her mother, remember.

If a daughter's shape is unlike her own mother, look at her paternal female relatives. . . .

Fair enough; but, again, how strong is the correlation? Is my notion of a polygenetic cause still viable?

(Also, the mother is the most significant relevant contributor, with aunts and uncles being only a quarter as relevant, with further halving at ever further distance along the family tree.)

BigT 06-24-2016 02:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus

(Also, the mother is the most significant relevant contributor, with aunts and uncles being only a quarter as relevant, with further halving at ever further distance along the family tree.)

No, because the father's genes are just as significant. Just because they aren't expressed in him doesn't mean they aren't there.

Looking at paternal relatives is just about trying to guess at what genes the father passed on. An aunt passed absolutely no genes to her niece.

Carl Pham 06-24-2016 03:47 AM

Because they can. You're misunderstanding genetics. Natural variation through random mutation will generally cause individuals to have quite significantly varying features, particularly for such simple characteristics as size. What natural selection generally does is rein in these variations, when they compromise some aspect of function that impacts survivability and breeding success. Hence, features of our genome that are absolutely mission-critical, e.g. certain basic enzymes for respiration, are exceedingly well conserved. No one has the slightest variation in them. Similarly, the size, shape and structure of the heart or airway or spinal cord is very consistent, since nearly any experiment along different lines is promptly fatal. In short, what needs evolutionary explanation in terms of functionality is uniformity of features, not variation. Variation is natural. Uniformity is not.

Breasts can vary in size wildly with essentially no impact on survivability. Furthermore, the existence of wide variation also implies that variation has almost no impact on breeding success, either (otherwise there would be selection for some optimal size). Which implies, as one might guess, that a woman's breeding success is not significantly impacted by her breast size, within a wide range. In short, there's a good supply of men who like them in almost any ordinary size.

By the way, an interesting side note on this is that breast size varies much more interwoman than intrawoman. That is, a woman may have big or small knockers, but her right is likely very close in size to her left. That actually needs explaining. Why the symmetry? It could be there is a significant hit on survivability (unlikely) or breeding success (seems more reasonable) with significant asymmetry. There is a general argument that humans are unusually sensitive to asymmetry and consider it ugly. I don't think anyone has a good argument for why that would be, though.

But it's also possible this occurs accidentally, e.g. that the same kinds of mechanisms control breast symmetry as control, for example, leg symmetry, which is clearly required for survivability. Hence the breasts are symmetric as an accidental side-effect of more essential symmetry, e.g. in limb size. But on the other hand, the human body has nontrivial asymmetry, e.g. in its internal organs, so why would symmetry of the breasts be a natural consequence of essential symmetry, when for example the lungs aren't bound by it? If development mechanisms allow the lungs and neural circuitry to be asymmetrical, why do they not allow for significant asymmetry in boobs? It may indeed come back to the possible preference we have for breeding partners that look very symmetrical on the outside (we can see whether her nipples are on a perfect horizontal, but we can't tell her liver is tremendously lopsided, so the liver is free to vary and seek some more optimal shape and location, while the nipples cannot).

bardos 06-24-2016 05:20 AM

Not sure how this relates, but I spent a couple of decades breeding goats, and naturally one chooses mothers who are the best milkers with the best "breasts", udders. What I found, my experience has shown me, is that the daughters hardly ever will have the same udders as the mother. It's a crapshoot. YMMV

Mijin 06-24-2016 06:26 AM

At the risk of starting a whole new level of jokes, another organ which varies a lot in size (especially if we consider volume instead of just length) is the penis.

Which suggests to me the hypothesis that features that may have been subject to sexual selection in humans have gone through a lot of change in a relatively short time and therefore show a large distribution.

Then again, there are other, non-sexual organs showing a large distribution as others have pointed out (e.g. noses), so maybe there really is no anomaly to solve here?

Chronos 06-24-2016 06:45 AM

I suspect that it's closely related to the fact that our breasts are so much larger than those of our closest relatives (and correspondingly, than our fairly recent ancestors). We usually have big breasts because reasons, but we sometimes have breasts that are closer to chimp breasts (though very few women have breasts that are actually as small as a chimp's).

The same reasoning could be applied to the penis.

Isilder 06-24-2016 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aceplace57 (Post 19428030)
Asian women are often smaller breasted. they are often very thin too.

And generally have less trouble with their new borns not suckling.


Europeans evolved in the land with lots of mammal domesticated animals and harsh winters.

WAG So the mother needed to store fat in obese amounts, to survive winter, and could feed the baby on animals milk if the fat destroyed her own mammary glands abilities. With the animal milk available, the babies that didnt suckle would survive and pass along the trait for lack of instinct to suckle the nipples of of an obese mother, and to be obese, to their descendants.!

Meanwhile in asia, no pressure to become obese, and a nonsuckling baby died.

Gedd 06-24-2016 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carl Pham (Post 19429269)
[Snip]

But it's also possible this occurs accidentally, e.g. that the same kinds of mechanisms control breast symmetry as control, for example, leg symmetry, which is clearly required for survivability. Hence the breasts are symmetric as an accidental side-effect of more essential symmetry, e.g. in limb size. But on the other hand, the human body has nontrivial asymmetry, e.g. in its internal organs, so why would symmetry of the breasts be a natural consequence of essential symmetry, when for example the lungs aren't bound by it? If development mechanisms allow the lungs and neural circuitry to be asymmetrical, why do they not allow for significant asymmetry in boobs? It may indeed come back to the possible preference we have for breeding partners that look very symmetrical on the outside (we can see whether her nipples are on a perfect horizontal, but we can't tell her liver is tremendously lopsided, so the liver is free to vary and seek some more optimal shape and location, while the nipples cannot).

Studies have shown people that are more symmetrical are rated as more attractive, possibly because more symmetrical people tend to have greater masculine or feminine characteristics. (And they make better dancers)

Hari Seldon 06-24-2016 08:22 AM

It's virtually certain to be some sort of sexual selection. A more interesting question is why, in some societies, men fetishize large breasts, while others appear not to. Thus in some countries, women on average have rather large breasts and in others they tend to have small ones.

It is possible for sexual selection to get out of hand and even lead to extinction. Read about the Irish elk.

Trinopus 06-24-2016 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigT (Post 19429216)
No, because the father's genes are just as significant. Just because they aren't expressed in him doesn't mean they aren't there.

Looking at paternal relatives is just about trying to guess at what genes the father passed on. An aunt passed absolutely no genes to her niece.

Sorry; you're right. I was reducing the importance of more and more distant relatives, by the appropriate powers of 1/2. Yes, the father contributes one of the X chromosomes, which, presumably, governs female breast development.

doubleminus 06-24-2016 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carl Pham (Post 19429269)
Because they can. You're misunderstanding genetics. Natural variation through random mutation will generally cause individuals to have quite significantly varying features, particularly for such simple characteristics as size....).

Well, not quite. A very slight survival difference is enough to drive evolution. For example a 1/10,000 decrease in survivability will result in the trait being reduced to about a third of its initial incidence in 10,000 generations or perhaps 200k years in humans. And obviously, larger than necessary breasts are bad for posture, running and consume resources. Thus there must be some advantages for them, such as sexual selection via the handicap principle, and if they can also store fat in addition to be attractive to males, so much the better.

In a nutshell, women have large breasts not because they are easy, but because they are hard, and for the same reasons.

TriPolar 06-24-2016 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carl Pham (Post 19429269)
Because they can. You're misunderstanding genetics. Natural variation through random mutation will generally cause individuals to have quite significantly varying features, particularly for such simple characteristics as size. What natural selection generally does is rein in these variations, when they compromise some aspect of function that impacts survivability and breeding success. Hence, features of our genome that are absolutely mission-critical, e.g. certain basic enzymes for respiration, are exceedingly well conserved. No one has the slightest variation in them. Similarly, the size, shape and structure of the heart or airway or spinal cord is very consistent, since nearly any experiment along different lines is promptly fatal. In short, what needs evolutionary explanation in terms of functionality is uniformity of features, not variation. Variation is natural. Uniformity is not.

Agreeing here. Breasts are uniquely human, that is the large amount of fat covering mammary glands is unique. That means this characteristic hasn't undergone the long term evolution of other human characteristics that are incrementally changed from our ancestors until reaching an equilibrium with function and survival.

Little Nemo 06-24-2016 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtur88 (Post 19426924)
Is there any other part of the human body that can vary that much in size from one healthy person to another? Or, for that matter, in any other species of animal?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ignotus (Post 19427511)
Bellies and buttocks? Come to think of it, hands also; specifically male ones.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fear Itself (Post 19427909)
Ears, noses and feet?

I would dispute these suggestions. Breasts have a much greater range of sizes than the other body parts mentioned, even in women of the same overall size. You could have two women who are the same height and general build but one of them has breasts that are four times the size of the other's. You're not going to find two people like that where one of them has hands or ears that are four times the size of the other's.

Dereknocue67 06-25-2016 04:11 AM

The variation in breast size is probably due to the diet of the chicken. I prefer the thigh area.

Myglaren 06-26-2016 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aceplace57 (Post 19428042)
Cite a gene study on why Asians have unique traits
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/02/15...tic-level.html

Why Asians/East Asians and not Orientals?
There is a huge difference in the appearance of Orientals to Asians.

Randolph 06-26-2016 01:59 PM

Well, sure. Some are rugs, some are people.

Myglaren 06-26-2016 02:07 PM

Persian rugs?

Mangosteen 06-26-2016 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Isilder (Post 19429532)
And generally have less trouble with their new borns not suckling.


Europeans evolved in the land with lots of mammal domesticated animals and harsh winters.

WAG So the mother needed to store fat in obese amounts, to survive winter, and could feed the baby on animals milk if the fat destroyed her own mammary glands abilities. With the animal milk available, the babies that didnt suckle would survive and pass along the trait for lack of instinct to suckle the nipples of of an obese mother, and to be obese, to their descendants.!

Meanwhile in asia, no pressure to become obese, and a nonsuckling baby died.

Winters are pretty cold in northern China, Mongolia, and northern Japan where A cups and small waists are the norm. Plenty of milk producing livestock around, too.

md2000 06-26-2016 05:35 PM

Another human characteristic with great variability (among all races, despite Bell Curve's misguided claims) is intelligence.

We'll skip the speculation about intelligence - breast size correlation. :D

MacLir 06-27-2016 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surreal (Post 19427716)
Lots of women have large breasts due to the fact that they're overweight. Once you adjust for body weight I don't think there's much variability in breast size. Have you ever seen a thin woman with large natural breasts? Have you ever seen a morbidly obese woman (or man, for that matter) with small breasts? It's not common.

Granting the rarity, yes. In college, I regularly interacted with a young lady who was otherwise so slender her ribs showed above her (ample) cleavage. I am pretty certain there was no artificial enhancement involved, as this was the era of Women's Lib - meaning exactly what you think it does. :rolleyes:

MacLir 06-27-2016 10:38 AM

One hypothesis I have not seen mentioned is the possibility of humans having been influenced by a span of littoral, semi-aquatic living. (Supported by some characteristics humans share with known aquatic and semiaquatic animals, but other great apes do not.)

In this theory, the enlargement served a functional purpose of allowing infants to "get a grip" in the face of body hair reduction in order to feed more easily.

One of the popular texts on the subject

KarlGrenze 06-27-2016 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bardos (Post 19429336)
Not sure how this relates, but I spent a couple of decades breeding goats, and naturally one chooses mothers who are the best milkers with the best "breasts", udders. What I found, my experience has shown me, is that the daughters hardly ever will have the same udders as the mother. It's a crapshoot. YMMV

Possibly because the ram came from a poor milking mom? In dairy industry, the males are kept based on how good milkers their dams, and later daughters and grandaughters, are. It is considered poor managing to breed your top milkers with sperm or rams whose ewes arent top milkers.

robby 06-27-2016 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by md2000 (Post 19435027)
...We'll skip the speculation about intelligence - breast size correlation. :D

Actually, I think that it is well-established that larger breasts on women tends to decrease the intelligence of men in the vicinity. ;)


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