What, exactly, are boobies?

No - not the blue-footed variety.

I speak reverently of the holy twins that adorn the fair sex. Those bastions of male interest (ok - the majority of them, anyway). These stuctures, large and small that are my reason for looking across the building to where many female members of the marketing department work (I swear, a “C” cup is a job requirement).

Yes, I speak of boobs, breasts, knockers, and/or hooters.

But, what, exactly are they? They’re not an organ, right? I know there’s a musculature under them but are the muscles actually part of the breast? Are they some amorphous collection of body stuff or is there a proper classification for these wonderments?

Mammary glands are the organs that, in the female mammal, produce milk for the sustenance of the young. These exocrine glands are enlarged and modified sweat glands and are the characteristic of mammals which gave the class its name.

The human breast contains a lot of fat and connective tissue not really needed for the production of milk. As others have pointed out, most monkeys do fine nursing their babies, and don’t have significant breasts at all. I’ve argued at some length that the reason for larger human breasts is that they serve as a sexual signal, an argument first advanced, as far as I can tell, by Desmond Morris. The issue keeps coming up on the SDMB, I suspect, because it’s a subject of legitimate concern, and a lot of us are horny males.

What is the corresponding structure in men? An undeveloped version of the same? I assume it is a site for fat deposits since some men develop “boobs”. When they get breast cancer is it the same as what women get?

No. The muscles in question are the pectorals, and are more or less the same in both males and females–if there’s any significant difference at all, it’s that in men they tend to be more developed.

Well, the reason I asked is that I made a bad joke in a different thread that had to do with organs & breasts. Anyway, I occurred to me, that despite my worship of the female breast, I really didn’t have a good knowlege of them past their two primary purposes: feeding babies and being looked at.

Wow - that cut-away of the breast on the Wikipedia page - the one that looks like a bit like a pomegranate, makes me wince. That’s definitely TMI when I’m used to seeing them clad in skin.

Boobies are Life.

So sayeth the **Bus Guy

When I took in the homeless teens, a very close friend of one was a body-builder with very pronounced, cut pectorals and a taste for slender, willowy girlfriends. It was an ongoing joke among the boys that he had the larger chest measurement of the couple.

Likewise, a local morning radio show host was talking about the last time he talked to Cindy Crawford’s dad (he’s local), the host said he could never be a supermodel because his boobs were way too big.

Her dad agreed.

Hamsters ate my first attempt at a response…

Essentially, yes. Men have an incomplete version of the glandular apparatus, with ducts but not lobules.

Men develop “boobs” (gynecomastia) due to excess estrogen and/or medications. Excess estrogen may result from increased endogenous estrogen precursors (as may occur in cirrhosis and obesity), estrogen-secreting tumors, and estrogenic medications (as may be used to treat prostate cancers). Other medications are also associated with gynecomastia, such as spironolactone, cimetidine, and digitalis.

More or less, except that lobular carcinoma is much rarer (presumably owing to the male lack of lobular structures).

You forgot being fondled :stuck_out_tongue:

please don’t forget to fondle them !

Oh, yes. Fondle them fondly.

I just wanted to add my agreement with the above, and to mention that the thread right after this one was
Todler choking hazards
Made my day.

Yeah, Desmond Morris discovered that women’s breasts are sexually appealing. Sure he did.


No, he suggested that they became sexually appealing by becoming buttock mimics, and that in general buttock-mimicking contours (shoulders, knees) are sexually appealing to human males as well.

I’ve argued that an analogy is found in the case of the Gelada Baboon,. the female has a characteristic structure on her chest that mimics a similar structure on the rear when she’s ion estrus. It’s clearly a mating signal, and it’s another case where the chest area echoes the rear – without being hemispherical in this case. Humans are the only apes with a Butt – due to the hyper-enlarged gluteus maximus in the human that allows us to walk upright.

I know what you-all are doing here, trying to get all science-y about boobies, in the hopes that they lose their fun, bouncy goodness in the minds of red-blooded men.

It won’t work.


Oh, come one, you all know that Tom Servo said it best…

And now for the obligatory link to picture of boobies.

Awww! Isn’t that cute! A matched pair!