Children's book slammed for creepy message claiming function of boobs is to be 'attractive'
Credit Usborne Books at Home
The book, which is aimed at young boys, seeks to teach boys about the realities of puberty.
However, within this there is a section titled 'What are breasts for?', which states:
That alongside their main function of producing milk, breasts are also there to make girls look 'grown up' and 'attractive':
Aside from being creepy as hell, Simon argues that the information is simply not true. In a statement found on his Facebook page, he argued that:
Attractiveness is not a 'purpose' of breasts. The only 'purpose' is to produce milk. Any attractiveness is learned, cultural behaviour.
Simon argued that the function of breasts is fundamentally biological. 'Attractiveness' is the result of learned behaviour and the sexualising of female body parts by society.
Many have echoed Simon's criticisms:
However, whilst Simon has found many supporters in calling out the book, others profoundly disagree with his arguments:
Most men find breasts attractive. Most women show off and are proud of their breasts. Why is that, then?— Cristi Neagu (@Cristi_Neagu) August 30, 2017
I just find it a bit depressing that somehow observing any difference between genders is now shouted down as sexism.— Victoria Moorshead (@VictoriaMoors1) August 30, 2017
Simon has further hit back at these comments, releasing another statement on his Facebook saying,
'The problem is that the book is saying that looking attractive and grown up is a key purpose of the breast. It's like saying the same about a woman's legs. Nothing wrong with finding them attractive - and I do - but it's not their 'purpose' to make a girl/woman look attractive or grown up. We have legs to stand, walk and run on. We (probably) have 2 legs so our hands are freed up for whatever our ancestors used them for. Their perception in any sexual desire is secondary and certainly not their purpose.'
The complaints clearly struck a chord, as Usborne have since released an apology for the book. In a statement released to The Guardian, Usborne said the following:
'Usborne apologises for any offence caused by this wording and will be revising the content for reprinting.'
Whether or not the information is strictly, factually true, there's no denying that the wording and delivery of the section was incredibly poor. Hopefully Usborne have learnt their lesson.