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Study: Men and Women Ogle Female Bodies Longer Than Looking At Face

The study used eye-tracking technology to demonstrate what men and women look at when seeing a woman.
 
 
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Both men and women look more at women’s bodies than their eyes, a new study by academics shows.

The study, reported on by USA Today, used eye-tracking technology to demonstrate what men and women look at when seeing a woman.

We live in a culture in which we constantly see women objectified in interactions on television and in the media. When you turn your own lens on everyday, ordinary women, we focus on those parts, too,” said social psychologist Sarah Gervais, a lead author of the study, which was published in the journal Sex Roles.

The study outfitted 29 women and 36 men with eye-tracking technology. They were shown photographs of the same 10 women, each of the photos was manipulated to show a curvaceous body, a less curvaceous body and somewhere in between. Both men and women stared at women’s chests and waists longer than their faces. The bodies with bigger breasts and hips and narrow waists were looked at the longest.

The study also revealed that when men are told to focus on a woman’s personality and expressions and evaluate a woman, a person with more curves gets higher ratings.

Gervais said one reason why this occurs, in addition to objectification of women, may be an evolutionary reason. She told USA Today that men could be drawn to curvaceous women for childbearing. Women may be checking out their competition, she suggested.

 

Alex Kane is AlterNet's New York-based World editor, and an assistant editor for Mondoweiss. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

 
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