Scientists may disagree on why the Neanderthals disappeared but it could be the Neanderthal women weren't very attractive. Perhaps but there can be no question that modern man has an acute fascination with the feminine form.
So it should have been no big surprise that when photography bloomed in the 19th century men would photograph women. Of course, it wasn't always necessary to see the whole enchilada.
The soft focus of yesteryear looks more beautiful than the megapixel detail of modern digital photography IMHO. The nothing left to the imagination pornography of today lacks anything redeeming from an artistic perspective.