This section was my workspace for philosophy essays between July 2006 and April 2008.
I call this "Prehistoric Kilroy" because it gave me practice for more
disciplined essays in Kilroy Cafe.Also see my philophical blog and Twitter feed.
Issue #9, 8/24/2006
A Meditation on Breasts
What Are They Good For?
By Glenn Campbell
Family Court Philosopher
Female breasts: What are they good for?
This question occurs to me as I am sitting in the
courtroom of Judge Voy on the Wednesday afternoon
Juvenile Sex Offenses (JSO) calendar. Some of these
crimes involve "groping", where a young man
deliberately touches the breasts of an attractive
young lady without her permission. The technical
charge is "Open and Gross Lewdness."
Nevada statute does not define what kind of
touching is "lewd"; instead the nature of
the crime is defined in case law. Touching the vagina
could be lewd, but touching, say, the arms is not.
I have not looked up the case law, but I assume
that touching of the breasts, buttocks or groin
could be a sex crime, while touching any other
part of the female anatomy is, at worst, a simple
Why is touching the breasts considered lewd? I am
asking this from a näive and alien perspective.
In an anatomical analysis, breasts are little more
than localized fat deposits. They don't play any direct
role in reproduction, apart from suckling the
young. Why is touching this fat so offensive?
Furthermore, why is this fat such a focus of
attention? Young men want to touch it, while
young women want to dress it up and make it more
prominent. Women, it turns out, want their
breasts to be touched, but only under the right
circumstances. Why all the politics? It is just
Why is the fat even there at all? The logical
answer is, the breasts are there to give milk to
Think of all the mammals on earth. Are there any
others with breasts? All mammals have teats for
suckling their young, and they become
enlarged during lactation, but when the animal is
not giving milk, these "breasts" shrivel away to almost
Relative to other mammals, human breasts are
humongous. They are almost all fat, with only a tiny
portion being lactating tissue. Breast size makes
no difference in milk production. Small breasted
woman produce just as much milk as voluptuous
So why such breasts? What are they good for?
At the risk of offending the entire female race
(as well as the male race, come to think of it),
breasts seem to me like a pain in the ass.
Barring an elaborate support system, they are
always flopping around inconveniently, getting in
the way and interfering in athletic activities.
For early humans, they would seem to be a distinct
survival disadvantage because they can slow
a runner down when, say, fleeing from a predator.
Pragmatically, they don't seem good for anything.
So why are they there?
I surmise that women have breasts for the same
reason that casinos have big 8-story marquee signs
out front: advertizing. Like the extravagant
plumage of a peacock, which is also useless,
the human female's breasts are a mating
display that happens to be permanent.
Fact: Humans are the only mammal that regularly
walks upright on two legs.
Fact: Humans are the only mammal with permanent
There is a connection between the two.
The female's job in the evolutionary mating game
is to advertize her fertility. That is the reason
for breasts. They put the message right out in
front, almost at eye level.
Breasts send two subliminal messages to the
slobbering male: (1) Lookie here, I am sexually mature
and ready to mate, and (2) Lookie here, I have the
fat reserves to produce offspring.
The male has built-in emotional responses to
these messages, which could be approximately
I have always had great difficulty describing
these responses to females I know. They see their
breasts as merely sensuous, while the male
reaction is much more earthy. There isn't
necessarily an erection or any sensation in the
groin, but there is an instant and instinctual
attraction that is obviously hard-wired,
not learned. Passing a shapely young lass with
breasts half exposed, ones eyes are instantly drawn
to the chest. Believe me, if there weren't societal
restrictions against it, the hands would be drawn
Touching breasts doesn't produce any offspring or
an orgasm. In itself it doesn't provide any reward
to the male—apart from a slap across the face
and maybe a JSO charge. I can report from my own
investigations that breasts are indeed soft and
flabby and not as firm and plump as visually
In fact, there is a great deal of false
advertizing in this field. Beyond the prime
teenage years (the traditional time of mating), most
naked breasts are droopy and floppy—a finding
I have confirmed by intensive clinical study at
the topless beaches of France. Most real-world specimens are
more like those seen in National Geographic
rather than Playboy, and I realize now that
toplessness is banned in most places for a
Modern brassiere technology allows more women to
achieve the perfect form by plumping the breasts
and pushing them skyward, and men seem to fall for it.
By the time the true naked form is revealed, it is
already too late: mating has progressed to a point
of no return and will almost certainly be
Like the big signs in front of casinos, breasts
are pure neon. They don't provide any service to
either the buyer or the seller except to initiate
the transaction. They are ornamental plumage.
The human preoccupation with breasts
seems rather silly to me, but it is very
serious to young people. Compelling cleavage can
easily draw a young man to his doom, while a young
woman can just as easily fall prey to the
display of her cleavage for profit (monetary or
social). A woman who is unfortunate enough to be
genetically gorgeous is tempted to rely on her
body for an illusion of self-worth—instead of
pursuing, say, ability or accomplishment.
One disadvantage of toplessness is not so much
that it is illegal but that it takes away a
woman's control over her sexual identity. If ones
boobage is restrained, the relative magnetism of
it can be turned on and off through the judicious
use of attire. If one is naked, one loses this
discretion and, paradoxically, one also loses a
great deal of ones sexual attractiveness.
In this reporter's opinion, naked women are NOT as
sexually appealing as provocatively dressed ones,
where the tease is the thing. In the absence of
Playboy-style lighting and staging, it quickly
becomes clear that fat is just fat.
For the most part, women who often dress provocatively
are masking low self-esteem. They are saying,
"You see these melons here? They are who I am."
The trouble is, the melons are eventually going to
ripen and go soft. They'll draw in a man, but not
necessarily the right one. They won't provide
lasting self-esteem any more than make-up does.
They are mainly a distraction, and sometimes a
tragic one. By providing a crutch that some women
can use to gain attention, they may inhibit
Personally, I am in favor of a national breast
reduction program where we feed hormones to young
girls to assure that they develop only small
"athletic" breasts that don't trigger the
Every flat-chested girl longs to be well-endowed,
but flat-chestedness also encourages the
pursuit of non-sexual avenues to self-esteem.
People tend to inhabit the roles that their bodies
imply. Being given the body of a vixen tends to
turn a woman into one, to the detriment of other
roles. The body of a librarian may be more
beneficial to society.
I would also consider supporting a national breast
inspection program, which has a certain
theoretical appeal to any red-blooded male.
Given my disappointing
experiences in France, however, I think I'll pass on
applying for the job.
A book called The Handicap Principle
describes the ostentatious waste of resources as an essential
element of human evolution, since it signals to a potential
mate that the individual is strong enough to afford the
handicap. Thus, large breasts and the obvious
burden to their owner could be a way to advertize the owner's
relative robustness. (By the same token, a male who wastes
resources on an extravagant car my be expressing the same
“Women who don't wear a bra are much less likely to get breast cancer. I think human females have permanant breasts so that, as upright mammals, the weight and jiggle of the breasts can keep lymph and milk ducts flowing, cleansed and healthy. See more at HealthWaveInstitute.com under Free Articles”
—Sharon Porter, SEP, RCST, RPP, practitioner trainer in Los Angeles CA. HealthWaveInstitute.com 11/9/07 (rating=3)
“so what if da women use their breast for attraction? it foesnt matter. if ur girls have tiny boobs, den its hard 4 dem to attract men............”
— 4/14/08 (rating=0)