Humans are categorically the only mammal species with permanent mammary glands, also known as breasts. There are more than 5,000 mammalian species on earth but only Homo sapiens have permanent breasts. Why this happens begs the question of what makes them so different.
For the primitives, their breasts last only as long as breastfeeding does; it’s temporary. They only develop breasts during ovulation or nursing. Once nursing mothers were done with the task, the b****t would reduce to just a chest.
In contrast, humans develop permanent b****t from puberty and even after menopause. While full breasts are considered s**y and a woman’s ego boosts, it also makes one wonder why only humans have them.
In 1987, biologist Tim Caro examined seven theories on this. One was that breasts allowed newborns to nurse from the hip, giving their mothers more mobility to multitask. However, it doesn’t explain why they remain even after nursing.
After a woman gives birth, her breasts get filled with milk. However, after she is done nursing her baby for a duration, it loses milk. Still, they remain sizeable, making one wonder why since they are mostly made up of fat. The fat fills out the b****t tissue which gives it shape.
“Human breasts could, therefore, be a kind of biological deception,” according to David P. Barash and Judith Eve Lipton at the National Sexuality Resource Center.
Why humans have breasts
The essence of breasts is for a woman to feed her children. According to Barash and Lipton, it is also her weapon for luring men. Full breasts are used to signal a woman’s ability to store fat and her fertility. In reality, a young girl without b****t cannot bear children, neither can an older woman with sagging breasts. This suggests that they are either essential for birthing or way past their prime.
Zoologist Desmond Morris proposed a theory in his 1967 book, “The N***d Ape”. He suggested that breasts evolved as a s*x symbol and a substitute for the swelling round and red rear end of our ape ancestors during ovulation. In addition, he added that once our ancestors started walking upright, the rear end no longer became an obvious s****l spot. As the pelvis tilted, the vaginal became a more obvious point. This encouraged a more face-to-face s****l orientation.
However, the male species also had no way of knowing when the female was sexually mature. Therefore, it as proposed by Charles Darwin that the breasts were formed as a result. Still, this doesn’t explain why the breasts remain after menopause, even if they may sag.
In spite of the function of breasts, it’s impossible to ignore the cost of having them.
First, they aren’t comfortable for those who have to carry the extra pounds in their chest. Breasts come in different shapes and sizes, and some sizes can cause serious back pain. The cost of wearing a bra for women is also painful with the restrictive straps. A lot of women suffer back pain and end up having b****t reduction surgeries.
Another problem women face with having b****t is the risk of b****t cancer. This is the highest cause of cancer-related death among women. It affects roughly 1.5 million women each year and killed 570,000 of them in 2015.
It is more common in rapidly dividing tissue. This occurs every time cells are born and die. In an attempt to repair the DNA, a mistake can be made which could lead to cancer cells being formed. Since b****t tissues divide rapidly, there is a higher chance of cancer cells forming. This is one reason some women remove both breasts, others could replace with implants.
Whatever the reason is for humans to have breasts, they are here and that’s all there is. With the pros and cons, humans have breasts; there’s nothing more or less to that.