Why do human women have breasts?

In every other animal, the mammary glands are either located in an area that never becomes raised and is just a nipple or the mammary glands become breasts only when there are babies to feed and then recede again.

Are there any theories or proven scientific reasons for why humans are the only animal species to have permanent breasts in our females?

Update:

@Vito1964: Actually, in many ancient cultures (and even some African ones today), the breasts were not a sexual object. Women went bare-chested if they wanted in plenty of cultures. Of course, that became improper around the time the Catholic Church started being the ruler of a lot of the world and women began to be encouraged to wear more clothes.

It actually (up until the early 1900's) was considered a fetish to be attracted to a woman by her breasts. Only very recently has it become normal to be attracted to breasts. Some of the older ways of judging a woman's attractiveness was the face (that's never gone out of style), how well fed she was which was an indication of wealth (meaning, although the opposite is usually true today, women used to be more attractive the bigger they were), and such skills as cooking, sewing, etc.

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  • 9 years ago
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    I know I'm gonna get a lot of thumbs down for this, but still.

    So men have something to keep themselves entertained with when they are around women.

  • 9 years ago

    It's pretty much guaranteed to be sexual selection, same reason peacocks have large decorative feathers. They're there's to attract mates and nothing else.

    They're a biological lie that tricks men into thinking you have a higher capacity to produce milk, or they're mimicking a buttocks (I don't buy into this one) or we just like them for some reason.

    The exact purpose will probably always be a mystery, so all we can say with any confidence is that for some reason, at one point in time, men liked enlarged breast tissue more than unenlarged breast tissue.

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