This week Christina asked me why I act differently when she’s changing, particularly when she’s topless. I’m sure most wives at some point wonder, why it is that their husbands are so obsessed with their breasts. I know for myself, if my wife’s shirt and bra comes off, even if it’s in a non-sexual context, I’m paying attention. I think most husbands are the same way. So, why is this? To be honest, I didn’t know, so I did some research.
The traditional view is that the effect is caused for one of two reasons:
The first theory is based on the idea that when you were a baby, your first source of comfort, of security, of food even was your mother’s breasts. When we grow up, this feeling is remembered and we then look to any set of breasts for feelings of comfort and security (we can manage food on our own). In a marriage, ideally you’d only be focus on your spouse’s breasts. The problem with this theory is that it doesn’t explain why most women don’t go a bit crazy/stupid when they see a pair of breasts. After all, they were nurtured in the same way. It doesn’t make sense to have such a disparity between the genders in their responses.
The second theory comes from evolution, that men are enthralled with breasts, because they show an indication of the general health and survivability of their offspring. Large breasts mean more fat is stored, which means the woman is better fed and more able to provide for a potential baby. So, men are evolutionarily programmed to constantly be looking at breasts, to judge suitable mates. The problem with this is that women with large breasts or small breasts can still provide milk to their baby. It’s not an accurate judge, and so, even if I believed in evolution, this argument seems to be flawed.
So, what is it then? Well, the new theory, one I think seems most likely to be accurate, is that men are predisposed (some will say through evolution, I would say by creation) to focus on women’s breasts, because touching them, playing with them, kissing, etc., releases Oxytocin in the woman’s body. To, in a marriage, the husband is constantly looking to find ways to release this Oxytocin into his wife’s body, because it will make her feel more attracted to him, more secure in their relationship, and more bonded to him emotionally. This of course is not conscious, but there does seem to be an overwhelming urge in husbands to be constantly trying to sneak glances, brush, touch, pinch, etc. their wife’s breasts. It’s so strong that if you are a husband, and your wife’s shirt comes off, our brain does a bit of a flip. It’s so focused on this goal that the part of the brain that is used for recognizing animate objects (people, animals, etc.) shuts down a bit and instead the part that recognizes inanimate objects turns on. We become so focused on our wife’s breasts that on some level, we don’t even recognize that their attached to a person. In short, we can’t help ourselves, our brain literally short circuits.
Now, some wives might find this offensive, that they are literally being treated like sex objects. But it’s unconscious. If you’re going to take into account that we see you as an object when your shirt is off, you also have to take into account that the underlying obsession has to do with wanting you to feel loved, bonded and secure, which is kind of romantic, isn’t it?