Men's obsession with women's breasts

According to this article “the human obsession with breasts is weird and unique among mammals”:
http://[URL=“www.alternet.org/take-action/breasts-science-behind-why-everybody-loves-them”]

I also wondered, why as a man, I had such a strong interest in looking at women’s breasts in print, in person and online. I found it exciting and titillating but addictive.

If I understand it correctly, for men the sight of the female breast triggers a rembrance of the pleasurable feeling of the comfort and coziness of infant-mother nursing. Also humans are one of the few animals that have sex face to face and this simulates the mother-infant interface(along with the seeing and feeling of female breasts).

Are men just grown up infants? Any thoughts? :slight_smile:

Moderator Action

Welcome to the SDMB, tc7231.

The About This Message Board forum is, oddly enough, for questions and concerns about this message board, or in other words it is for things like posting problems discussion about forum rules, etc.

Since your question is probably best answered by opinions, I am moving it to the In My Humble Opinion forum.

Moving thread from ATMB to IMHO.

Some early theorists thought it was because breasts resembled buttocks – one smooth round thing is similar to another smooth round thing. I dunno.

Some others have suggested a “forbidden fruit” idea – breasts (and butts, and genitals) are interesting because they’re usually covered. It’s like Christmas Presents: the wrapping up indicates that unwrapping will be fun. By this way of thinking, if we lived in warm, comfortable climes and women were topless all the time, we wouldn’t have the same fascination or fixation.

(In lands where women wear veils, is there a similar male fixation on women’s faces?)

My sister suggests it’s because breasts are sexually responsive, with nipple arousal and blushing and slight swelling accompanying sexual arousal. They aren’t just pretty, but provide visual (and tactile) feedback.

I don’t buy the “breastfeeding” hypothesis, because I’m pretty sure that bottle-feed American men like breasts, too.

Forbidden fruit/sexually responsive body part seems like a winning combo.

One thing to consider too is that most young boys, when they DO start to notice women, the first thing they become fascinated with are the breasts. Appreciation of the ass, legs and even vagina do not come until much later in life.

Breasts don’t do anything for me.

I like shapely buttocks, hips, and thighs. Breasts are irrelevant. Small is good. Large is good. Medium is good. I frankly don’t care.

I’m a breast man, always have been. Boobs, hair and face are the first things I notice after taking in the overall picture.

Fun bags, for sure, but include me out of the “obsessive” thing.

If you ask me, what’s “weird and unique” is that it’s the human females that have the sexual displays. Looking at birds, it’s always the males looking pretty to attract a drab-colored female. Even among mammals, a lot of the most impressive displays (think antlers, for example) are often on the males as well, but most mammals have no real secondary sexual characteristics at all. Humans are far more sexually dimorphic than most mammals.

In any event, I don’t buy the breast-feeding connection. Looking to other animals, secondary sexual characters rarely have any meaning. It’s not like a peacock’s tail has to mean anything to female peacocks… it is simply an arbitrarily exaggerated trait they are genetically wired to respond to. That, and it looks best in healthy individuals during years of peak fertility. That’s really all it means.

You could turn it around and ask why most mammals aren’t attracted by breasts. After all, they are an unambiguous symbol that you’re looking at a (post) pubescent female. And their shape / firmness can advertise youth and fitness in a similar way to the butt.

And the answer probably is, that for most mammals, females are fertile only at particular times. They signal this fertility in various ways, often with scent. And in all cases, males of the species go crazy doolally over such signals.

But with humans, we have a poor sense of smell, and women are fertile all year round. Those kinds of signals are not appropriate. So instead of that, in our species, one way women signal their fitness and fertility is with oversized mammary glands.

Sometimes I wonder the same thing, because it is kind of weird. Yet I also don’t fight it.

Some men obsess over feet, others hands or neck and shoulders on, neither of which are particularly sexually charged parts of the body. I like ankles for some reason, and flat bellies with slim hips… woohaa. So I think breasts are only sexual through random circumstance. In cultures where the breasts are usually exposed, do they have the same appeal?

They do have a lot of nerve endings, so they are responsive to sensual attention. That probably contributes to it. And anthropologist Desmond Morris postulated cleavage’s resemblance to the butt is not coincidental.

Sometimes I wonder the same thing, because it is kind of weird. Yet I also don’t fight it.

Some men obsess over feet, others hands or neck and shoulders, neither of which are particularly sexually charged parts of the body. I like ankles for some reason, and flat bellies with slim hips… woohaa. So I think breasts are only sexual through random circumstance. In cultures where the breasts are usually exposed, do they have the same appeal?

They do have a lot of nerve endings, so they are responsive to sensual attention. That probably contributes to it. And anthropologist Desmond Morris* postulated cleavage’s resemblance to the butt is not coincidental.

*He may not be an anthropologist. However, he does look like Kevin Spacey.

Many of us gay men look at women’s breasts, too. Not obsessively, but we do look.

**even sven **commented on this recentlybased on her experience in Africa. I doubt she would mind me quoting:

So it’s probably a mix of breasts being an instinctive male attraction to an indicator of gender and age and reproductive fitness, and culture, is my suspicion.

Breasts just don’t get involved with nursing but being held as well, so there goes the bottle feeding argument.

Domesticated animals, which humans are also, often do retain juvenile characteristics into adulthood (for example adults cats kneed which is a kitten trait to get milk). I suspect this is part of it.

I’d say the first fascination for young boys is seeing up a girl’s skirt. And I specify up skirt because that’s an integral part of the fascination. Seeing the underwear covered crotch of a girl or woman is really no different than seeing a bathing suit covered crotch of a girl or woman. Young boys at the pool or beach don’t, however, fascinate upon bathing suit clad crotches. It’s the whole seeing up a skirt/dress that holds fascination. I think this fascination comes way before a fascination with breasts. To make my point, boys feel this way towards their female peers even before the onset of puberty (and, thus, these female peers do not yet have developed breasts).

I think its normal for men to be looking. But if he talks over serious matters and stares at that part of the body, then I will be offended.

No idea why guys in general seem so focused on them, they’re kind of cute but not where my eyes are drawn.

Not in my experience as a young male, see below from bienville:

This, except for the disclaimer about bathing-suit covered crotches. (that was always totally hot). Also, pants-covered crotches.

Had no interest in adult women (and, hence, breasts) as a child. Like bienville says, sexual feelings were towards my female peers, not towards grownup women!

I’ve posted this sort of thing before and neither gotten a bunch of “oh yeah, for sure, the girls in our classroom when we kids” nor “WTF, eww, I had the hots for the teacher not for little girls my age, you must be a pervy pedo”.

Of course we are, but that’s completely independent of how fascinated we may or may not be by women’s breasts.:wink:

I don’t really buy the “looks like a butt” argument since most breasts don’t look very butt-like when not compressed into a bra or shirt. If we evolved them far before V-neck sweaters became a thing then the point loses some weight with me. I do think that they’re handy since you can see them from the front but their relationship to the buttocks seems more coincidental and a by-product of our construction (two arms, two legs, two breasts, two buttocks, etc).

Male interest in them seems to just be “Because that’s how we evolved” without needing to attribute Freudian theories about breastfeeding. Why do some birds get big fleshy wattles, why do some monkeys have bright blue asses, why do lions get manes? Men are likely attracted to breasts as a sign of fertility, women evolved to have permanent breasts because it got them more mates and babies. Being “obsessed” with breasts is just how we’re wired from way back on the veldt and requires no more psychology than why the beetle with the biggest antenna gets mating preference.