Here’s a study that really didn’t need a study.
A study published today in the journal Sex Roles “discovered” men really do look at women’s bodies more than their faces. The study, conducted at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, under the director of lead author and social psychologist Sarah Gervais, used eye tracking technology to prove what women already know.
“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,” says Gervais.
“Until now, we didn’t have evidence people were actually doing that to women’s bodies,” she says. “We have women’s self-reports, but this is some of the first work to document that people actually engage in this.”
The study only included 29 women and 36 men, not exactly a large test population. Each participant wore an eye-tracking apparatus and were required to gaze at photographs of women with varying body types. Interestingly enough, only photographs of women were used. Both sexes gravitated towards the women’s chests and waists more. It was also noted that the bodies with larger breasts, smaller waists and bigger hips got longer looks. Gervais said hat men may be drawn to the curvier women because of child-bearing preferences and the women are just sizing up their competition. Or maybe some of the women participates were gay and were attracted to a women’s curves and body as well. The study didn’t note the sexual preferences of the participants.
Did we need a study to let us know that most men don’t pay attention to a woman’s face? From my personal experience, I’ve had to explicitly ask a man to raise his eyes a little bit higher when he’s talking to me, instead of looking at my breasts.
One has to wonder why a similar study wasn’t done using photos of men. What exactly are women looking up when they’re “sizing up” men. The first thing I notice is a man’s height. At 5’10, there’s nothing like a man who is several inches taller than I am. Secondly, I’d be lying if I didn’t say aesthetics weren’t important. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but no one wants to be-holding a badger. And lastly, grooming is important. A well-groomed man, is the pièce de résistance.
There’s nothing wrong with looking, but don’t turn your ogling into a sign of disrespect and invasion of privacy. As my grandmother said, “You can look, but don’t touch. Or you’re liable to draw back a nub”.
Clutchettes, what part of a person’s body do you ogle?