If you’re among a select group of men who are adamant they don’t ogle a woman’s body more than her face, evidence says you’ve been lying to yourself…not to mention everyone else. According to new research carried out with a focus on eye movements, women were right all along to accuse men of being way more interested in what’s on offer from the neck down.
But before you slap your husband or boyfriend with a night in the doghouse, you might like to know that women are also just as guilty of sizing up women’s bodies as men are.
“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 every day, ordinary women, we focus on those parts, too,” said the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Sarah Gervais, who led the study.
“Until now, we didn’t have evidence people were actually doing that to women’s bodies. We have women’s self-reports, but this is some of the first work to document that people actually engage in this.”
A group of 36 men and 29 women took part in the study, which involved the use of eye-tracking technology to register just how many milliseconds their sight focused on any given area. They were all shown the same series of ten women by way of photographs, each of which had been Photoshopped to make the model fatter, thinner and somewhat in the middle.
The results were interesting, if not exactly a huge surprise. Both men and women were found to spend more time looking at the waists and chests of the women in the images than their faces. What’s more, those that had the bigger hips, narrower waists and bigger breasts attracted the most attention away from their faces.
As far as Gervais is concerned thought, it’s not something to be in any way ashamed of or conscious about – it could all be down to our evolution. Men have long been suspected to be subconsciously drawn to ‘childbearing’ figures, while women could be pre-programmed to size up their rivals for potential mates.