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News alert: Men see scantily-clad women as objects

February 20, 2009
by
I’m sure you’re all thinking, “No shit, Sherlock,” but now there’s actually scientific evidence to back up this notion and the study on the matter also presents some scary details.
New research, presented this week by Princeton University psychology professor Susan Fiske at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, shows that, in men, the brain areas associated with handling tools and the intention to perform actions light up when viewing images of women in bikinis.
But the experts claim men just can’t help themselves. They say it’s a byproduct of human evolution because the first male humans had an incentive to seek fertile women as the means of spreading their genes. So it’s part of their biology to depersonalize sexual images of women. (Yeah. Right.)
The study participants, who were heterosexual college men, also took a questionnaire to determine if they harbored sexist views of women. In the men who were found to harbor “hostile sexism” (an adversarial viewpoint of women that includes the belief that women attempt to dominate men), the part of the brain associated with analyzing another person’s thoughts, feelings and intentions was inactive while viewing scantily clad women.
So these particular dudes are angry because they think women are trying to dominate them and if you’re wearing a bikini they’re not going to see you as a person. Ladies, make sure you never end up at the beach with one of these guys.
I pray this study isn’t misused as backup for the idiotic notion that women who wear skimpy clothes deserve to be raped.

My hope is that instead heterosexual men who read about this research will decide to check themselves and strive to be more aware of exactly how they view different women in their lives and that they will examine how arousing images of women affect their interactions with other female acquaintances.

This study is just another example of why a world without rape will never become a reality unless the men of this world fight for it too.

Click here to read more about the research and let me know what you think of the study.

(crossposted at GeorgiaMae.com)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Random permalink
    February 21, 2009 6:50 pm

    “They say it’s a byproduct of human evolution because the first male humans had an incentive to seek fertile women as the means of spreading their genes. So it’s part of their biology to depersonalize sexual images of women. (Yeah. Right.)”

    I do not understand your snark at this point. Many things happen involuntarily within the human body. Sexual arousal as a whole is not something people can choose to feel or not feel. This researchers opinion seems entirely plausible.

  2. Bakka permalink
    May 13, 2009 9:48 am

    I find it interesting that the articles says this, “In the men who scored highest on hostile sexism, the part of the brain associated with analyzing another person’s thoughts, feelings and intentions was inactive while viewing scantily clad women,” which seems to imply that men who score low on hostile sexism did not have this reaction? If so, then the conclusion that it is due to evolution seems dubious. If one’s level of sexism is related to the amount of objectification of near-nude women, this seems like a socialized rather than an evolved response.

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