You don’t want a higher IQ? Well, that’s a bit of a boob

Do you hear the creaking? That's Emmeline Pankhurst spinning in her grave. New research shows that half of young women aged between 18 and 25 would prefer to have larger breasts than higher intelligence, with a third saying they would gladly swap a large IQ for a massive rack.

Almost 60 per cent of the respondents to the survey believed that men would be 'more interested in them' romantically if they had bigger breasts compared to only 43 per cent who would be more interested if they had a higher IQ.

To be fair, no one looks at the IQ when they're poking the fire (a mixed metaphor: I swapped my brain for breasts when I was 24) but you probably will have to talk to the fire afterwards, and surely large bosoms can't compensate for having to converse with the human equivalent of a brick wall?

I do want to believe that, I really do, especially as I have a clever daughter.

Researchers from New Zealand conducted an in-depth survey to clear up once and for all what men's eyes are drawn to first when looking at a woman.

They discovered that unless the woman in question is in an Aston Martin, driving a tank, piloting a jet, standing pitchside during a game at Wembley or holding a universal remote control, a beer or a curry, it's the breasts that catch the attention of menfolk first.

This survey took months. I could have cleared this one up in about 0.3 seconds.

Most Read

The science behind cleavage fascination is all rooted in evolution: women with larger breasts have higher levels of the female hormone oestrogen and are therefore more fertile.

It harks back to the good old days when foreplay involved dragging a woman back to your cave by her hair: the bigger your conquest's breasts, the better her access to a good food supply and your chances of using something other than a hollowed-out coypu as a pillow on your rock mattress.

So when a man stares at your cleavage fixedly, he is mentally assessing you as the future mother of his children and sizing you up to receive his seed on the basis of what you keep up your jumper.

This is, of course, a comfort for us all, especially those of us whose pesky intelligence might put 57 per cent of men off us on the basis that no one signs up for a pair of breasts that talk back.

In the order in which they are noticed, men first check out a woman's cleavage before allowing their eyes to travel to the waist (Pregnant? Fat? Wearing a wrestling belt?) before a quick glance to the left hand (Married? Claws instead of fingers?) and then finally at the face (Bearable?).

By the time they look you in the eyes, they'll have worked out just how fertile you are and whether or not it's worth continuing the conversation.

Women, however, do not stare pointedly at men's crotches in a prehistoric flashback to the days when cavewomen took a precursory glimpse in order to assess whether or not it was time to invent fire in order to see if a spot of defrosting might improve matters.

We look at the important things: face, hair and teeth. Everything else can be dealt with quickly and before we allow the man in question to take us out in public, but faces, hair and teeth can be harder to fix, although a paper bag can help.

As the owner of a chest that would have left cavemen in no doubt that I was a good bet for an heir or two, I am well acquainted with conducting entire conversations where a man talks solely to my cleavage.

There is a school of thought which suggests that women who want to avoid the heat of two beady eyes assessing their ovaries via the medium of a Wonderbra should cover up and offer no tempting display of flesh.

This is easier said than done if your double D cup runneth over. Covering them up bizarrely serves to make them look even bigger – like a monstrous uni-boob or a pair of angry weasels tussling in a sack.

In my experience, larger-chested ladies have the choice of working three looks: (a) nursing earth mother (b) blousy trollop or (c) imposing matron/nit nurse.

Wear a v-neck and half the population will address any conversation with you to your chest, wear a polo-neck and you'll look as if you're about to stick a thermometer up someone's rectum, wear a sports bra and you'll look like an extra from Return of the Mummy, wear no bra and discover that your chest keeps moving for a good 10 seconds after you've stood still.

This, perhaps, is the crux of the whole issue.

You need a high IQ in order to be able to handle a large chest – and you certainly need one in order to be able to handle mine.