BOOBS, BUMS* AND LOVELY LEGS
(*used as it is in the UK as a synonym for backside or bottom)
There can be no doubt about it, parts of the human female body are so adorable most red-blooded males quiver at the thought of them. It is as if nature has hit, quite by accident, on the perfect aesthetic design.
Look at the art world: portraits of the female nude abound, closely followed by portraits of the semi-nude female. There are goodness-knows how many statues and statuettes of the female form. Although there are examples drawn from the male of the species they're considerably less numerous than those drawn from the female, and us men might say for obvious reasons. But then we're biassed, aren't we?
Is it sexual? I mean, am I and all my male equivalents across the globe driven to admire an alabaster statuette because we might have sex with it, or is there some other force driving us? And if it is a sexual thing, how come an old fart like me with no intention of ever breeding again seems to get increasingly hooked by these examples of outrageous beauty?
It is, of course, evolutionary, and we've been aware of this since Darwin wolf-whistled at a pretty blonde down the street and blamed his theory about the survival of the fittest on his intrusion into her ego when she complained.
For countless generations our more distant ancestors went naked when they could. They wandered across the savannah tackle-out, whistling tunes of love and hope and lust, and it was during that long period that our desires and inclinations were formed and became indelible instincts. And one thing would have been hammered into the male brain: if a woman's going to produce your children she'd better have the right bits and pieces in the right proportions to do it well.
Early hominids probably knew where babies came from long before they knew what made them. You can see a baby being born but it was almost certainly a great deal more difficult associating an interesting game nine months earlier with that birth. And when a baby was born it will have been noted that a female slender of hip and small of backside had more difficulty giving birth and was more likely to waste all that energy producing a still-born infant than was one more amply proportioned. It makes sense and it's something we've known since we were quite young ourselves. And observation will have informed our primitive ancestors that good child-bearing hips are usually associated with a really adequate bottom.
Without giving any thought to the matter and before you could properly call those ancestors truly human they will have, via the gift of natural trial and error, developed an instinct for liking the look of a bit of padding.
And part of that padding, of course, is the shape and form of the thighs. So legs entered the arena: shapely, well-turned legs, they became desirable and even essential.
Similar natural selection will have created a fondness for decent boobs or, to use a technical term, titties. A lot of the future is trapped in the squawking of a new born infant, and much of that squawking is a demand for food, and the best food is that which comes plentifully from female breasts â€“ and even though small mammaries are quite capable of feeding a sprog, larger ones are seen as being preferable. So another piece of hard-wiring took place over untold generations: the instinct within the male to seek out a potential mate with obvious boobs.
But what of the male body? Well, he doesn't have to give birth to anything so he doesn't need that useful padding or those glorious boobs. What he needs is the strength and ability to wander through the aforementioned savannah doing a great deal of gathering and a little hunting. He needed the physical strength to tackle creatures who fancied him for supper. He needed biceps and triceps. He needed to be able to find real speed at need (he probably did a fair amount of running away from danger). In short, he needed quite different attributes to those possessed by his flighty girlfriend. And he got them. It meant survival not only for himself but for his family back home. And again, as the generations passed, a desire for the more muscular male became hard-wired into female instincts. No chance for me there, then!
The surprising thing is the male sex organ, or willy as I prefer to call it. Although we humans are not too minuscule in that department, there is no provable advantage in size, so that aspect of the male body is nowhere near as entrenched in female instinctive desires as you'd expect it to be. It's not size that matters, but what he does with it, they say if they perceive their partner might be on the small side - but he is still their partner. A perceived inadequacy hasn't got in the way of forming a partnership and having offspring. I might be spiteful here and suggest that men with excessively large whatsits are only really of use to the porn industry where they might feed the odd fantasy....
So there you have my take on what we have inherited from the distant past in the shape of instincts that have developed as part of the armoury of evolution so that our species can survive. And survive, thus far, it has!
Â© Peter Rogerson 21.02.13