By Kristen Hammond
T&A. They’re there, and they’re hard to ignore. Especially in the summer when clothing is minimal and skin is showing. But why are these specific body parts what make us so hot and heavy?
Let’s start with the booty. As someone who personally lacks one, I’ve always been pretty fascinated with those who are blessed with a nice behind. Even as a basically straight woman, I will admit to being allured by a nice butt, on either sex. (Aren’t we all?) Simply, the explanation for this is evolution.
In my comparative psychology class, where we discuss the similarities between animals and humans, we discussed mating and what mate traits would be chosen for natural selection. Universally, bigger is always better. Having something bigger or simply having more of something was a sign of fitness, fitness meaning healthier, more capable of survival, better genes T&A—all in all, a better mate. So to males, a female with a larger rump was more fertile and more likely to be able to carry his babies. So over time, natural selection picked bigger butts as a trait to be favored because of the position we used to mate in.
The same goes for large breasts, but not as simply. It can be traced to the “Genital Echo Theory.” The Genital Echo Theory states that females developed pendulous breasts around the time hominids began walking upright in order to provoke the excitation males similarly felt when gazing at the fatty deposits on the buttocks. Basically, when man began walking upright instead of on all fours, a source of attraction moved to the front of the body. If we trace back our history even farther into ancient mythology, large breasts are often associated with fertility and sex. One of the oldest human statues known, the Venus of Willendorf which was created about 25,000 years ago, features a bosom of Pam Anderson-esque measurements. Two-hundred and fifty centuries later, the power of the exaggerated breast shows little sign of getting old.
Evolutionarily speaking again, the larger the breasts, the higher the fertility. And the more fertile, the more likely reproduction will occur, furthering a male’s gene pool. (And in regards to evolution, continuing his gene pool is a man’s duty.) Recent theorists argue that attraction to breasts can be linked to breast feeding. Stimulation of the breasts during breast feeding releases oxytocin, the “cuddle” hormone, to create a connection between mother and newborn. Because humans have face to face sex, evolution has in a sense made men want to do the same.
But recent research shows that physicality is overlooked when searching for a long term relationship compared to a short fling. In a study, participants were given the option to see the face or the body of a person of a sex they were attracted to. The results showed that men and women alike were more likely to reveal the body if it were in reference to a short fling, but the face when in regards to a long term relationship.
Eharmony, one of the world’s leading dating sites, states that while physical attractiveness is important, there are many other factors that go into attraction such as intelligence, passion, willingness to laugh, and sensitivity. I bring this up to say that if you’re lacking in the curves department, it is okay! People prefer different body types and more importantly, body time isn’t that important in the long run. What is important to remember is to rock what you’ve got and that you don’t need perfect measurements to be considered attractive.