Why do I like big boobs? Actually I don’t, particularly. But Anthropologist Frank Marlowe thinks he has some good reasons as to why I should. You see, if I were a caveman I would have no idea what a woman’s age was until I saw how far her boobs sagged. Big sag; better not pursue the relationship because she has only a few childbearing years left. Firm and upright, prime for romance; she will bear many children. Small boobs would risk the survival of the human species because without the sag age indicator men would be chasing older women and sorority girls with equal zeal. The result: not as many healthy children, gradual reduction in human population and possibly extinction.
OK, I admit I’m skeptical too. Most of the time men can tell a woman’s age to within, say, about 5 years just by looking at her face. Women don’t need to evolve a boob gauge for us just to show how young they are. Maybe out in the wild it's harder to tell just from the skin--dunno. Still, women do owe us an explanation as to why they have boobs to begin with. It’s a mystery why of all the mammals human females have boobs even when they are not pregnant or nursing. The females of cats, dogs, cows, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, chimps, gorillas and such don’t shop for bras when there’s no baby involved. Their breasts shrink to mere teats when the kids don’t need them anymore. Humans are different. By normal mammal standards it looks like 48-year-old Demi Moore has been continuously breastfeeding since she started acting in General Hospital at age 20.
So it’s not out of lasciviousness that universities have been paying Frank Marlowe to help solve the boob problem. There is a serious puzzle to be sorted out here. Intelligent design theory, being so intelligent might say something like, “The Designer really likes boobs, especially big ones. Doesn’t everyone?” But Scientists, being so dumb, are bound to ask “how come?”
Comparing Frank’s theory with the alternative Intelligent Design approach, his idea doesn’t sound so dumb after all. A five year age difference is a long time to the proverbial caveman. Replacing a 15-year-old bride with a 20 year old would be serious cheating in terms of his reproductive chances. Five years is five more kids if they all survive—which they didn’t—or at least five years more of trying for, say, 2.1 kids—more likely. If instead every caveman was similarly cheated of those 5 years the number of kids would have dropped to, say, 1.9 per adult pair and that is less that the 2.0 replacement stats needed to keep our species from extinction. So hooray for big boobs; they saved the world. But there’s a modern practical application to Dr. Marlowe’s theory. What is the ideal breast size for women?
Well, if boobs were too big the weight would tend to make them sag faster, this time cheating the woman, as this perfectly qualified potential mother would be less likely to be chased by the eligible caveman. So while evolution would have us avoid little boobs that lie about her age, it would also discourage us from liking boobs that are too big--they would overestimate her age. In between there must be an ideal size where graphing boob sag on the x-axis and age on the y-axis would show a nicely sloped line. Dr. Marlowe considers the important question of the perfect boob size in his paper but sadly fails to hand down a scientific ruling in terms of cup size.
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