Kensey Alsman

One of the trickiest things to accomplish for American women of the 1990's is successfully attracting worthy partners for purposes of breeding. While this may not be uppermost in women's minds when they go through their mundane daily tasks of applying make-up or donning their togs, it is a subject always close to the surface. Are they preparing effectively for the task that is set for them by an often capricious mother nature? The physical areas women spend most preparation time with is usually their faces. As the part of the body most often presented to the public, it would make sense that it is an important feature with which to take extra care. But a survey of available research and a look at cultural data may indicate that women should spend more time and take more care with other facets of their physical selves.

". . . efforts might be more productively spent on their breasts and buttocks."

An informal poll conducted among thirty-five male steelworkers, concerning what attracts them to women, asked them to rate, in order of importance, the female body parts or areas that most intrigued them. Just over half (eighteen) pronounced themselves to be breast men, and of those, twelve rated buttocks as second on their lists, and four chose legs. Just two opted for the face. Of the remaining seventeen men in the group, nine preferred buttocks, and five embraced the legs, with only one of the total group not having an opinion ("None of your damn business," was the way he phrased it). That left just two who professed a preference for the face. Among the sixteen non-breast men who had an initial opinion, eleven fingered breasts as their second choice, three buttocks, one the face, and one had no other preferences; "The ass is it; that's it," he said. When the question was rephrased to ask what first gets their attention when women are walking toward them and then away from them, the first choice, by a wide margin, was breasts (twenty-five), followed in order by hips (pelvic region)(five), face (three), and legs (one). When walking away, the response was overwhelmingly in favor of buttocks (thirty-two), followed by legs (two) with one subject electing the calves (Alsman).Based on the amount of men who chose breasts and buttocks as their first or second choice, it would seem women are working needlessly long hours on their faces when their efforts might be more productively spent on their breasts and buttocks (see Appendix).

". . .tended to rate breasts, thighs, and buttocks as 'most important. . .'"

It is entirely possible neither sex conciously knows what it is that attracts men to women. In a study conducted by William Griffitt, several males were exposed to photographs of nudes and were asked to rate them by various criteria. The men who were highly sexually aroused and generally positive tended to rate breasts, thighs, and buttocks as "most important in determining their initial sexual attraction to females." Men who were highly negative toward the models (though equally sexually aroused) rated breasts and the total body unattractive, but found the models' eyes and buttocks highly attractive (298). (The steelworkers never mentioned eyes as an attractant, but they were not shown any photographs and were commenting extemporaneously). It is interesting that men unattracted to the models would single out those features as appealing rather than breasts. This could possibly be a clue to what is really going on in men's subliminal minds. An explanation for this phenomenon might be hinted at by the Zoologist, Desmond Morris.

". . .the human female is almost always in a sexually capable condition . . ."

In his book The Naked Ape, Morris speculates that, as humans evolved from the other primates and began to walk upright, the human female breasts became fleshy and round. This was not due to a biological need to feed children. Females of other primate species are flat chested and have no problems feeding their offspring or attracting mates. But these other primates, as our ancestors most certainly did, use buttock presentation to indicate when they are ready to breed. Since the human female is almost always in a sexually capable condition, the breasts would seem to have become an ever-present sexual display and a form of "self mimicry" as they are intended to frontally duplicate the female's own round fleshy buttocks, a trait also not found in other primates and one to which the human male had already become conditioned (74-75).

". . .men . . .would still be aroused by primordial urges when presented with . . . buttocks . . ."

At least as far back as the Upper Paleolithic period, men honored their women in art. Commonly,these depictions were in the form of what archaeologists refer to as "Venus figures." These small sculptures were often "representations of corpulent women whose secondary sexual characteristics (their breasts and buttocks) were given special prominence, though their faces, feet, and arms were completely neglected" ("Female"). If Desmond Morris' theory is accurate it could explain why men who are unattracted to some women would still be aroused by primordial urges when presented with their buttocks, as they were in the Griffitt study. It would further explain the erotic value of the breasts as "buttocks by proxy" and elucidate the results of the steelworker interviews. This could also be an indicator to women as to what they should be concentrating on to attract the best possible variety of males when preparing for breeding opportunites; they should be striving for the ideals represented by the Callipygian Venus. [Callipygian Venus]