Experts believe they have found the answer to the age old question: Why are men obsessed with women’s breasts?
According to the authors of The chemistry between us: love, sex, and the science of attraction, Larry Young and Brian Alexander believe that the fascination with breasts is due to a hormone released during breastfeeding.
In a book review column published on Huffington Post, the two experts explained that a chemical released when a woman’s breasts are stimulated is what causes the attraction.
“When a woman gives birth, her newborn will engage in some elaborate manipulations of its mother's breasts. This stimulation sends signals along nerves and into the brain. There, the signals trigger the release of a neurochemical called oxytocin from the brain's hypothalamus. This oxytocin release eventually stimulates smooth muscles in a woman's breasts to eject milk, making it available to her nursing baby” wrote the authors.
The authors believe that the same process applies when it comes to an intimate relationship between men and women.
“When a partner touches, massages or nibbles a woman's breasts, it sparks the same series of brain events as nursing. Oxytocin focuses the brain's attention to the partner's face, smell, and voice. The combination of oxytocin release from breast stimulation, and the surge of dopamine from the excitement of foreplay and face-to-face sex, help create an association of the lover's face and eyes with the pleasurable feelings, building a bond in the women's brain,” they said.
But Young and Alexander’s theories might not apply to all men; some me don’t like breasts and Rutgers University anthropologist Fran Mascia-Lees agrees.
"Always important whenever evolutionary biologists suggest a universal reason for a behaviour and emotion: how about the cultural differences?" Mascia-Lees wrote in an email to LiveScience.
In some African cultures, for example, women don't cover their breasts, and men don't seem to find them so, shall we say, titillating.
But Young told the website that seeing uncovered breasts all day didn't rule out the attraction.....
"It doesn't mean that massaging them and stimulating them is not part of the foreplay in these cultures. As of yet, there are not very many studies that look at breast stimulation during foreplay in an anthropological context," he said.