October 17th, 2014
I’m sure it sounds like a low-hanging fruit topic, because there is nothing revolutionary about saying “people (men more famously) are prone to looking at cleavage.” Yet what do you know about why it is attractive? What scientific or biological reason is there, that the upper part of a woman’s breasts is so important to so many people?
Unfortunately the possible answers to this simple but poignant question are skewed by the sexual-commercial obsessions that play out on the internet. You have to sort through mountains of sites that are more concerned with showing you breasts or getting you to land on their page than actually sharing knowledge.
If you do manage to sort through the boob-a-palooza out there, you may encounter a British Zoologist by the name of Desmond Morris. In his renowned 1967 book “The Naked Ape,” he put forth a theory that cleavage can act as a sexual signal, one that imitates the cleft between the buttocks. This is then connected, in terms of evolution, to our ancestors who crawled on all fours, in a time when the buttocks was extremely important for attracting a mate. He pointed out that when it comes to the shape of the buttocks humans are unique from primates who have what he called “a much flatter buttocks.” Incidentally the book also brought us a number of other popular theories including that the earlobes (or ears in general) are actually androgynous zones.
Morris’ work was seen as too goal-oriented (why people do things) and never really won the approval of the scientific community. His theory did however generate a lot of attention, sparking many related debates around the reasons why bigger or smaller breasts become more or less popular over time and differences that may exist between cultures, where once again, specific sizes of breasts or buttocks are considered attractive.
So is it connected to our evolutionary past or is there some other reason, besides the mindless “we just like it” explanation, that female cleavage causes such a fuss? Credibility questions aside, so far it seems Desmond Morris has brought us the most famous explanation to date.
Photo: Digital_Third_Eye / flickr