Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Acting White - Breast/Chest Sidebar

If there was a time when men married for breast size those days are gone. Large breasts are more common each year. Nonetheless, women's breasts, along with men's chests, are still worthy of discussion.

Males have varying sensitivity to markers for female fertility, and vice versa for females. Part of gaining control and having influence on our attractiveness is in understanding which factors, and in what combinations, have the greatest influence relative to costs/risks. With this information we can then make choices of where to put our time and energy for the greatest benefit.

Breast augmentation has become number one on the cosmetic surgery hit parade. Various statistics put the annual number of procedures in the US at upwards of 300,000. It is undeniable, supported by the law of supply and demand, that those new breasts are providing direct value to the women who make this choice, not to mention the value to men. More importantly, society is increasingly accepting of technological enhancement for cosmetic benefit.

“Large breasts and narrow waists indicate high reproductive potential in women.” This is the title of a 2003 university study on the subject of female attractiveness (here). It goes on to offer that women with higher breast to under-breast ratios typically have higher levels of the sex hormone, estradiol, which promotes fertility. The correlation gives credence to the notion of factors of influence to behavior, that are increasingly within our control.

“A near-universal sexually attractive feature of a man is a v-shaped torso: a relatively narrow waist offset with broad shoulders.” Muscularity in men is viewed as attractive by women, and indicative of higher testosterone and fertility, particularly when the woman is in her fertile phase. In contrast to augmentation surgery, steroid use in men, a discretionary activity to build muscle mass, has the natural deterrent of shrinking the testicles, resulting in a host of problems including infertility.

So what about considering breasts and attraction? I did not include breasts/chests in my factors for the blog-series on black female attractive response. This does not mean they are not important, but rather that the influence is lessened by access to, and advances in, technology. While correlation to reproductive health is established, the link to overall healthiness of large breasts is questionable, significantly lessening the positive influence.

James C. Collier


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Anonymous said...

The waistline is an uphill battle for everyone these days. I read a survey once that said that Black women have the highest obesity/overweight rate of any demographic in the U.S., but to be fair, men are struggling with this issue as well. The combination of a more sedentary lifestyle across the board, food additives/preservatives that are difficult for the body to process, poor dietary consumption, and stress compound the problem.

Without an individual commitment to daily watchfulness in this area, it's easy to get into trouble.

Michael in LA said...

Being a Black man my entire life (j/k), I've observed that most of my racial peers are more attracted to hips and ass over breasts. This attraction seems to be equal across the Black economic strata I've had this conversation with.

I remember having some pretty good debates in the the barracks with White guys when I was in the Marines - Playboy vs Players magazine. Black guys would check out the playmates and the FIRST comment would be, damn her ass is flat - while the White guys would be repulsed by a Black woman with her behind arched in the air.

I wonder how many Black male responses were included in the NIH study you linked to? (the link isn't working for me...).

James C. Collier said...

Michael, I replaced the link. And not to get too technical but studies show no difference between ethnicities in response to waist-to-hip width inference and attraction, while circumference (including the buttocks) is a whole other issue where preferences diverge by ethnicity, per your comment). Also, recall that healthiness (longevity) is a function of what one is most likely to die from (i.e. under nourishment).

Smile said...

The 'beauty in the eye of the beholder' as in attraction between man/woman is influenced by culture and norms.

Though we like to think science is ever in pursuit of the truth, it's not exempt from influence by its cultural norms.

In general, men will tend to broader shoulders and weight gain above the waist while women get the junk in the trunk. It's reasonable to see that women who want a man would be attracted to something other then depicts a woman, hence preferring the V shape. Men who want a woman are inclined towards the hourglass. In general.

As to booty and boob circumference, it's more the popular culture and familiarity, though many are biased towards indicators of self control.

Same for science equating a procreation inclination with what one perceives as hot and sexy. That opinion might be popular but just confuses the topic at hand.

Sexy is sexy because it's sexy and I can't explain why I think it's sexy :)

Still, it's what's inside that counts. One can begin speaking to another who is considered gorgeous and be turned off minutes later due what comes out. Often it takes longer then that and we must employ some wisdom and patience.

Smile said...

Some studies interfere with understanding and even obscure the truth. Such as with the twelve trees used to support the global warming.


Bishop Hill http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

Not very sexy but I thought I'd throw it in.

Collin said...

@Michael: I rather agree with James. I'm a white guy who LOVES hips and ass. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing bad with ample breasts, but I think the shape of most "super" models is lacking. I know they look great in a magazine but then you see those twigs out in the real world and just feel sorry for them. Perhaps it's that guys think they want boobs on a stick but that is understandable. Some of the best foods in the world come on sticks. (Corn dogs, shish kabobs, popsicles... mmmm.) But I think the studies James refers to would probably support my feeling that guys will always end up being drawn to the women with child bearing hips in the end.

@Smile: Keep spreading the word. Global warming is a hoax and a political tool. Just like back before my time I hear they used global cooling to scare people. It's all a load of nonsense! More studies have come out and more ACTUAL scientists are admitting that the increase in temperature when sun spots were at their highest and now the cooling trend as solar flares are decreased leaves little doubt and measurable evidence that what we do would never effect the overall climate. This big blue marble we have is tougher than that! And also, as the green trends end, don't be surprised if a couple decades from now we are hit with more fears of an irreversible ice age! OH NO, THE HORROR! Blah! Fear tactics will never end. Someone call up Al Gore and tell him to stop wasting his life away.

ogunsiron said...

I'll side with the brothers on that one :
Breasts are great but hips n butt is where it's really at :)

Beauty and attractiveness is probably influenced by the current culture, norms and fashion , but there are probably biologically based constraints. That is, our criteria can vary but not arbitrarily much. I can hardly imagine a culture in which gross bodily asymmetry wuld be considered beautiful.

Jeanette Michelle said...

It should not matter what size your mate is if you love him or her. First of all, basing your ideology that black women that are overweight is usually the dominant one in the relationship is not most often the fact. For the most part, most of these sisters have low self esteem and try to remain docile to remain in a relationship. You can't base a woman's personality on their size. You have small feisty women and large feisty women. And all black women do not have an attitude.

Also, your blog in reference to black women with an education most often marry men that are not educated is not the truth. It just depends on who you fall in love with. For the most part, black men are cheated out of an education because at their earlier stages in life in school they're most often placed in a certain group. Meaning; remedial classes because they believe that they have ADDS. This is a trap to keep the black man down.

However, what White society does is education the black woman to make the black male feel he is inferior. It's all a game and directly it's a game initiated by Society.

Oprah Winfrey was placed in her position because they did not want a man of color to have such an impact on society. But what's fascinating about that scenario is that they didn't expect for her to accomplish what she has. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

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