Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Seat of Power

Have you ever wondered why the buttocks is one of the most attractive parts of the body on both sexes?

The shape of the buttocks comes mostly from the gluteal muscles (maximus and medius), superimposed by a layer of fat. The 'glutes' are some of the strongest muscles in the body, due to their large size and efficient leverage. Thrusting doesn't even come close to tapping into the glutes' tremendous power. What does? Heavy lifting. Sprints. Jumps. In short, some of the most functional full-body movements we perform as humans.

In any full-body movement, the hips are the central source of power. The strongest muscles surround the hips, and muscle strength diminishes progressively as you move further from them. A shapely buttocks is typically a strong buttocks, and a strong buttocks generally means a strong person. So if you want to decide at a glance whether a person is capable of sprinting and jumping after large prey, and then carrying it home, the buttocks is a good place to look.

The buttocks is also a storage area for fat. Humans tend to store a disproportionate amount of fat near their center of gravity: in the abdominal cavity, on the hips and on the buttocks. The right amount of fat indicates a healthy individual. A shapely buttocks is typically attached to someone who is strong and well-nourished. It's not so hard to imagine why we find it attractive.

8 comments:

reid said...

While that evolutionary explanation makes sense there could be cultural aspects as well in determining beauty. I was thinking how in tribes in Hawaii and Africa larger women were considered more desirable because it was a sign of wealth and status.

Stephan said...

I'm sure that plays a role as well. I wonder whether the attraction to those women is really a physical one or just a desire for status though. The same way in our culture we revere super-thin models but most men aren't actually attracted to them.

Debs said...

I think it's a combination of cultural factors and signs of health. I've actually never heard the mindless explanation you mentioned being common, but I think it makes sense that a nice butt would be based on healthy muscle and just the right amount of fat in just the right places.

Food Is Love

Lee said...

And let's not forget, gluteal wasting is a recognized sign of Coeliac disease.

Stephan said...

Really! That's interesting. Does it correspond with general muscle wasting or is it specific to the glutes?

Heather said...

Gluteal wasting is specific to children with celiac disease. Adults are more likely to have generalized muscle wasting.

whill said...

A mental connection with thrusting still seems perfectly natural and equally powerful--or even as twin guardians of a major orifice. Gluteal contraction also seems to engage anal and penile muscle fibers.

Ed said...

Dunno why I'm reading this one, but a recent Nephropal post sheds some light. Apparently PUFAs are dis-proportionally stored in the femoral-gluteal region.

http://nephropal.blogspot.com/2010/05/sex-and-omega-3-highly-conserved-nsfw.html