The publishers of a children’s book about puberty has apologised after stating that one of the functions of breasts is “to make the girl look grown-up and attractive.”
Usborne Publishing’s, Growing Up For Boys, explains that girls have breasts for two reasons – to “make milk for babies” and “to make the girl look grown-up and attractive.”
But the second explanation has drawn criticism from some parents, with some describing it as “irresponsible” and “offensive” and others claiming it sexualised girls’ breasts.
“Wtf? From the Usborne Publishing book ‘Growing up for Boys’: Girls have breasts for two reasons – for feeding babies and looking grown-up and attractive,” he wrote alongside an image of the section in the book.
And other parents were quick to offer their thoughts on the description.
“Breasts are not there for boys’ pleasure. And how awful for early developer girls if this is what their male schoolmates are being taught,” one user commented.
“I’m gobsmacked! Of course people will always find them attractive but that’s not the REASON they are there FFS,” added another.
“Wtf, it’s true unfortunately that boobs are sexualised and seen as a point of attraction, but to teach this is horrendous!,” another Facebook user commented.
But not everyone saw a problem with the description the book used with some parents claiming it was factually correct.
“This is actually true. Breasts are larger and more prominent than other animals for the purpose of attracting a mate,” one user wrote.
“What’s the problem? A woman’s breasts are gorgeous and help to show how beautiful the female form is. Of course we attract the male of the species. Fact is, you have to attract a mate to have kids to be able to feed said kids in the first place,” added another
“The wording isn’t great but it’s isn’t exactly incorrect,” another women commented. “Breasts are a secondary sex characteristic which indicate sexual maturity, at least from a biological sense, and that the female can reproduce. Sexual maturity attracts a mate. The text doesn’t indicate that only big breasts are attractive.”
Following the backlash Usborne publishing has issued an apology.
“Usborne apologises for any offence caused by this wording and will be revising the content for reprinting,” a spokesperson told The Guardian.
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