Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do all cultures have the obsession with breasts like we do?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42452points) January 21st, 2015

I was thinking about cultures where women don’t wear shirts, and just nurse their babies when ever. They aren’t hidden, like some sort of special (or maybe dirty) secret. Do those cultures still view breasts as sexual objects?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

27 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

I remember hearing about a westerner telling a group of women in a tribe that customarily goes topless that breasts are considered sexual objects by western men. The women thought that was hilarious.

Dutchess_III's avatar


janbb's avatar

In some cultures, other parts of the body – like the back of the neck – are considered erotic and to be covered.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

How would indigenous people know that breast were sexual if they did not have industrialized people to hip them to that fact? ~~~ I think it is not so much the breast as the evil nipple. I have seen shows where breast were seen but the nipple was covered by tape, whipped cream or something, and it was considered safe enough to fly pass the censors. (makes you wonder about the flap over the Jackson wardrobe malfunction). Even if the breast is completely covered but the indent of nipple can be seen, people have the heebie jeebies, it is not the breast but the evil; nipple, for without the evil nipple the breast is just a giant pimple. If you see it all the time and no one freaks, then it is just baby feeders.

hominid's avatar

My understanding is that @thorninmud‘s example is the exception rather than the rule. And while cultural differences exist, and male ideas of size/shape preference vary, it’s my understanding that it’s assumed that enlarged breasts outside of lactation (humans are the only primates that have this) were sexually selected for.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The same way they know how to have sex with out industrialized people to tell them, @Hypocrisy_Central. Although I’m pretty sure you were being sarcastic it made a great point about my question.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

30% sarcastic, 70% serious…..

Dutchess_III's avatar

People instinctively know what is sexy and what isn’t. If breasts are inherently sexual, all cultures would see them that way.

Have we made something sexual out of thin air?

syz's avatar

^ Disagree completely.

There was a period in which large portions of the Chinese population found bound feet incredibly sexy, to the point that women were maimed in order to be sexy. Pretty sure that’s not universally sexy.

Face it. Breasts are just bags of fat. The only reason they’re considered sexy is because we’ve decided to make them so. We’ve fetishized them and covered them up to make viewing them even more titillating (pun intended). That fact that a shirtless women is indecent and a shirtless man is not is just ridiculous.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So…you mean you agree completely?

talljasperman's avatar

~ Boobies : )

Dutchess_III's avatar

There is one thing that is common to all cultures and that is we are all attracted to symmetry. The more symmetrical a person is, the more beautiful we perceive them to be. Symmetry also suggest fertility.

The rest, including breasts, feet, neck, ankles, whatever, are determined by a society. They aren’t things we instinctively view as sexy.

ucme's avatar

I bet aliens don’t, but then their tits are probably on their heads & used for navigating.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^^ There is one thing that is common to all cultures and that is we are all attracted to symmetry
Strange, if anyone was ever honest and admitted to such, they would be called shallow. People innately know what is appealing either by sight, smell, etc. so because most men don’t like a fat woman with saddle bags, and a large nose, small set eyes and a bushy unibrow, it is because she is not as symmetrically appealing as the bikini model.

josie's avatar

I always sort of dislike it when people use words like “we” and “us”, thus including me in something I don’t belong in.
I thought boobs were great when I was young. They become less relevent and less fabulous as I and my approaching middle aged women friends get older.
Myl girlfriend is, as they say, flat as a board and think she is beautiful.
So please leave me out of it.

By the way, some of the most ancient human carvings anyone has ever seen have been female figures with big boobs. The Earth Mother, so to speak. So truth is, there is nothing new here.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Don’t tell me my culture is the only one who doesn’t care for breasts

kritiper's avatar

Judging by stone and wood carvings of ancient peoples, yes. I’m an ass man myself.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@josie well, Hi again! I was speaking of our culture as a whole, not to every individual in it. It would include even me, even though I don’t feel one way or another about boobs (except those crazy women who are trying to set world records.) However, I am very aware of it because this is my culture.

@Mimishu1995 tell me about your culture as it pertains to boobs…?

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Dutchess_III well, as far as I know we have long considered sex to be something immoral. Anything sex related can stir a lot of disapproval. Though right now we are influenced by Western culture and begin to show more tolerance to sex, people still don’t tolerate anyone doing things like showing their boobs or things like that in public. Many see that attitude and use it to attract attention (nude photos, sex talk…). Of course they get their attetion, but mostly disapproval. Sex education is the last thing people want to teach students, and parents are reluctant to answer, or even angered, when theit kids ask them about sex (I myself don’t remember being taught anything about sex by my parents and teachers).

That’s the present day. You can’t imagine how biased we were in the past. Almost nobody talked about sex publicly, and if they did, it had to be hidden very carefully. For example, you write a story about a girl who has a tragic life, when you want to say at one point she is forced to be a prostitute, you only say “she was forced to be a prostitute and lived a horrible life”. End of story, no more description of her prostitute life (or see your book banned!) You won’t believe it, but the sexiest thing of a woman that was officially accepted was the hair!

Now you know how we view boobs…

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Anything sex related can stir a lot of disapproval.
Here in the US you and pother might be labeled prudes, or worse

Almost nobody talked about sex publicly, and if they did, it had to be hidden very carefully.
That would make it awkward having to explain why one needs to see a doctor if an erection last longer than 4 hours. We won’t even need to venture as far as a yeast infection or the Plan B pill.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central That would make it awkward having to explain why one needs to see a doctor if an erection last longer than 4 hours.

That’s why few people here have the courage to go see a doctor with problems like that. At present things like that are sometimes discussed, but at that time, I don’t think so. “Sex” doctor is quite new here anyway.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Mimishu1995 It sounds like America in the 50’s. Funny, but women started paying less attention to fancy hair styles as the 60’s hit.

Safie's avatar

Some do some don’t depends… i think a woman’s breasts are constantly hypersexualized where as in many other cultures it is seen as a comfort and source of provision not always about desire but a way for a mother to feed her baby. everyone starts out from feeding from the breast no wonder there is such a strong attachment to them in one way or another just depends on who’s looking and how breasts are viewed in their eyes. I certainly love my own and so does my man lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t feel one way or the other about my breasts. Except I can’t wait to get breast reduction surgery.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Except I can’t wait to get breast reduction surgery.
And if it were possible, 15 other gals would be fighting over what you were eliminating to inject into theirs.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther