I might have to help them with this

Interesting new research:

The morphology of human female breasts appears to be unique among primates due to their permanent fat deposits. It has been previously suggested that female breast morphology arose as a result of sexual selection. This is supported by evidence showing that women with larger breasts tend to have higher estrogen levels; breast size may therefore serve as an indicator of potential fertility. However, breasts become less firm with age and parity, and breast shape could thus also serve as a marker of residual fertility. Therefore, cross-culturally, males are hypothesized to prefer breast morphology that indicates both high potential and residual fertility. To test this, we performed a survey on men’s preferences for breast morphology in four different cultures (Brazil, Cameroon, the Czech Republic, Namibia). As stimuli, we used two sets of images varying in breast size (marker of potential fertility) and level of breast firmness (marker of residual fertility). Individual preferences for breast size were variable, but the majority of raters preferred medium sized, followed by large sized breasts. In contrast, we found systematic directional preferences for firm breasts across all four samples. This pattern supports the idea that breast morphology may serve as a residual fertility indicator, but offers more limited support for the potential fertility indicator hypothesis. Future studies should focus on a potential interaction between the two parameters, breast size and firmness, which, taken together, may help to explain the relatively large variation in women’s breast sizes.

This was done at Charles University in Prague.

Brother of a mate of mine is Rector of a Czech University. I think we should study this question more closely. Proper field research. Intensive, detailed, field research. Possibly using the local subject matter to hand. Can think of a few that would be suitable.

Perhaps into whether the male human hand is a suitable measurement device for checking breast firmness. Repeatedly. Over several cycles perhaps for one potential subject.

29 comments on “I might have to help them with this

  1. Suggest a follow up researching the female knee as a suitable measuring device for the softness of male testicles.

  2. I always assumed that through natural selection men like the big boobies because it’s more milk for their kids.

    To quote the great bard Eminem “When I was little I used to throw fits. How you gonna breast feed me mom? You ain’t got no tits!”

    Is that ‘potential fertility’ or ‘residual fertility’?because that part lost me.

  3. Individual preferences for breast size were variable, but the majority of raters preferred medium sized, followed by large sized breasts. In contrast, we found systematic directional preferences for firm breasts across all four samples.

    I really chose my career poorly. Science always looked so hard. But these geniuses have managed to prove that men have their individual preferences, but all over the world men do not like small breasts and like sloppy ones even less?

    Well. Maybe that science stuff ain’t so hard after all. I look forward to their next study on whether girls think puppy dogs are cute.

  4. DJ
    You have false mammary syndrome. Milk production is not related to breast size in humans. The size of a woman’s breasts is determined by the amount of fat and muscle present (but mainly fat), not by the size of the milk glands.

  5. Dongguan: Most mammals do not have large greats and they do not struggle to breastfeed. The breasts aren’t sacs of milk.

  6. Especially since you’re the one with the wife and young child. The amount by which they have swelled (sorta, not exactly) is the milk, not their size to start with.

  7. As the male subjects have the knowledge they seek, men should be paid for their participation.

    Piece work.

  8. It is all to do with economics, larger female breasts are preferred in a recession, smaller in a boom.

    You could see it in page 3 models.

  9. I’m sure we’ve covered this topic here before but in case it’s not common knowledge yet, the optimum size (imperial measure, naturally) is the British Standard Handful or BSH.

  10. “I think we should study this question more closely. Proper field research. Intensive, detailed, field research. Possibly using the local subject matter to hand. Can think of a few that would be suitable. Perhaps into whether the male human hand is a suitable measurement device for checking breast firmness. Repeatedly. Over several cycles perhaps for one potential subject.”

    Kind of think we got the point early on there, Tim…

  11. “In contrast, we found systematic directional preferences for firm breasts across all four samples”

    Firm breasts are the most significant ancillary clue to reproductive fitness because they are indicative of the optimal age for a first child, which in evolutionary terms (ie chances of reproductive success) is around 18 (based on studies of hunter gatherer societies). This seems intuitively correct: all the wobbly bits of a woman very gradually start to go south thereafter. Of course, my hypothesis would need to be thoroughly tested.

  12. Maybe it’s because firmness is a sign they haven’t had kids so you wouldn’t be taking on someone else’s sprogs

  13. Oh well, I suppose I can express smug satisfaction that I’m probably the only one here who gets to do this tedious work, professionally. In fact I spent several hours, last week, photographing the bloody things. Yawn.

  14. Wouldn’t know, Theo. We rent the girls, not the pictures.
    And flat as a pancake.* Xmas. You really should come down & support the Spanish economy. I’ll ask the boss of she’ll do discounts for pensioners.

    *But not the xicas, I can assure you!

  15. All these hypothesis that suggest sexual selection fail to notice that sexual selection requires that those without the features don’t breed. Throughout human history there seems to be no statistically significant cases of people who survived to adulthood failing to breed.
    For big boobs to be a result of sexual preference requires that those without big boobs fail to breed – which is patently not the case. And for big boobs to be a result of sexual selection requires that the resultant population near-universally has big boobs – which is also patently not the case, as proved by the existance of the big-boob-implantation industry, and by any cursury observation of the surrounding world.

  16. jgh: No. All that is required is that the bigger-boobed cohort has slightly more fecundity than the smaller-boobed one. Over many generations a small advantage will build up the appropriate genes in the population.

  17. The single fact that human females are about the only animal with sticky-out boobs, jgh, would tend to indicate they were the product of evolution. As they’re as much a hindrance as a benefit & seem to perform no other role, sexual preference seems a pretty good guess.

  18. Reminds me of the old joke:
    Man walks into lingerie shop.
    “I want to buy a bra”.
    “Certainly sir, what size?”
    “Seventeen.”
    “Seventeen?! How do you work that out?”
    “Well, my bowler hat is a size eight-and-a-half, and it covers one of them”.

  19. Jgh/BiS

    More generally, large breasts might have reduced a woman’s ability to move swiftly to avoid danger. Though the fat in the breasts would have helped the woman when food was short. Sexual selection for larger breasts could have been counter-balanced by the survival value of smaller breasts. In any event, consider this fuller-figured babe:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_of_Willendorf

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