POST 9: OF BEACONS AND BABES

It’s great to have you back! Today, like I said last time, we’ll be looking at what proactive erections mean in women.

Okay, from last time, we described how proactive erections in men would have benefited primeval man in his quest to seduce women for reproductive sex. Like wise, proactive erections in women would have also benefited the primeval woman in her quest to seduce men for reproductive sex. In order to understand how, however, we must first review the anatomy of “Eve” – but before that, here’s a short but relevant comic I’d like you to look at quickly [see Comic 9.1].

Comic 9.1: A comic that highlights the importance of beacons.

Comic 9.1: A comic that highlights the importance of beacons.

-Eve’s Anatomy
I know what you are probably thinking, so far – what on Earth does this comic have to do with “Eve’s anatomy” or women’s sexuality, in general? The answer: “HOOTERS!” Hooters, or breasts to be politically correct (and polite), are essentially beacons and so, like all beacons, function to demand urgent attention to somebody or something that is in need of rescuing. Looking back at the comic, it is the survivors of the sunken ship who desire to be rescued, while in the case of a woman, it is her genetic legacy that “desires” to be rescued. Of course, the only natural way a woman can preserve her genetic legacy is to bear offspring, which means she must first have reproductive sex (i.e. with a man). To achieve that, however, a woman must first attract a man, which she typically does well by telegraphing the fullness of her breasts.* So, although it was no mystery to begin with, a woman’s breasts signal fertility to on-looking men.

That’s great so far, you may be thinking, but what does this have to do with understanding how proactive erections benefited primeval women? The answer becomes apparent when you consider the beacon-like nature of women’s breasts in the era of “Eve” – that is, when the mean menarche age was arguably about 18 to 20 years while life expectancy was arguably about 30 years. Additionally, the only time you would have noticed the breasts of women from that era, would have been when they [the women] were sexually aroused due to the presence of a man or men. Otherwise, those early women would have exhibited flat-chests. Now, if you meditate on these issues, pertaining to “Eve’s” anatomy and life-expectancy in a world full of mortal danger, it becomes clear that:

  1.  primeval women only had about 10 years to have children and
  2.  primeval women could typically only attract men when they knew, or suspected a man was present.

These restricting factors would have worked against every woman trying to attract men for reproductive sex, which ultimately would have meant a slower rate of population growth, especially given the likelihood of a relatively higher infant mortality rate. To improve population growth, therefore, primal women needed to become more sexually desirable to primal men.

Mercifully, evolution appears to have eventually given women the reproductive trump card that is proactive sexual arousal. With this ability, a woman could become sexually aroused at the sensing of another woman – regardless as to whether a man was known to be present or not. This meant that an onlooking man could become “attracted” to a woman aroused as such, due to her suddenly inflated breasts, despite that woman being entirely unaware of any man’s presence. Thus, primeval men would have been more easily aroused and therefore, more sexually attracted to proactively aroused women, which would have ultimately given such women the reproductive edge over their other female counterparts. This is comically portrayed in the following cartoon, Busting for Berries [see Comic 9.2].

Comic 9.2: A comic that depicts the beacon-like nature of women's breasts, in primeval times.

Comic 9.2: A comic that depicts the beacon-like nature of women’s breasts, in primeval times.

So there you have it, primeval women who experienced competitively induced proactive erections would have been the more sexually attractive women of that era, in the eyes of primeval men. This meant such women would have likely had more success in attracting men for sex and therefore, would have had more babies than those women who could not be aroused proactively. After some generations, no doubt, the predominant group of women in our species would have been those who could be aroused proactively, due to sensing sexual competition – that is, other women. This new era, of course, also eventually came to an end due to the birth of a new kind of woman; the permanently breasted woman. This new kind of woman, as common sense suggests, clean swept the mating game to the point where flat-chested women, whether proactively arousable or not, became extinct.

To finish off for today, I just wanted to highlight that although the proactively arousable, flat-chested woman may be extinct, her genes live on in her descendants; the permanently breasted women of today. This is why some women today, find themselves aroused by the presence of other women – it’s an inherited yet obsolete adaptation which evolved to make primeval women more sexually attractive to primeval men.

That’s all, for now, everyone. Thanks again and I hope to see you all again, next time.


*Of course, every man who “rescues” a woman’s genetic legacy is, in turn, rewarded with the propagation of his own genetic legacy – so it’s a win-win for both parties.

Bibliography:
A. Stanway, The Lover’s Guide: The art of better love making, Pan Macmillan Publishers, Sydney, 1992, pp. 27-29.

B. J. Dixon, G. M. Grimshaw, W. L. Linklater, A. F. Dixon, ‘Eye-Tracking of Men’s Preferences for Waist-to-Hip Ratio and Breast Size of Women’, Archives of Sexual Behaviour, vol. 40(1), 2009, pp. 43-50.

J. C. Confer, C. Perilloux, D. M. Buss, ‘More than just a pretty face: men’s priority shifts toward bodily attractiveness in short-term versus long-term mating contexts’, Evolution & Human Behavior, vol. 31(5), September 2010, pp. 348-353.

D. Milligan, J. O. Drife, R. V. Short, ‘Changes in breast volume during normal menstrual cycle and after oral contraceptives’, British Medical Journal, vol. 4, 1975, pp. 494-496.

J. G. H. Cant, ‘Hypothesis for the evolution of human breasts and buttocks’, American Naturalist, vol. 117, 1981, pp. 199-204.

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L. A. Malcolm, ‘Determination of the Growth Curve of the Kukukuku People of New Guinea from Dental Eruption in Children and Adult Height’, Archaeology & Physical Anthropology in Oceania, vol. 4(1), April 1969, pp. 72-78.

R. Caspari, S. H. Lee, ‘Older age becomes common late in human evolution’, PNAS, vol. 101(30), July 27 2004, pp. 10895-10900.