Entries in objectification (5)


Shopping for Shorts: High-Waisted or Daisy Dukes?

With summer upon us, many women will go to the mall to revamp their closet with this year’s latest trends. After all, how are you going to get the attention of your cute neighbor if you’re wearing the same boring clothes you wore last year? Let’s be honest: you’re not. But with a less-than-stellar economy, more women are cutting back on their wardrobe allowance and are instead opting to purchase only a few ‘I can’t live without you’ pieces. So ladies, how do you decide whether to replace your old shorts with the forever-sexy daisy dukes or the back in style, more modest high-waisted shorts?

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Positively Naked: The Benefits of Showing Some Skin

When meeting someone for the first time, your impression of that person may be different if you meet that person at a formal dinner party, a cocktail party, or a pool party. These settings typically influence how the person dresses and how much skin they expose. Whether you consciously pay attention to a person’s exposed skin or not, focusing on their body may have unintended consequences.

We often assume that focusing too much on a person’s body and physical characteristics objectifies and dehumanises that person. A 2012 study in the journal Psychological Science showed both men and women viewed other women portrayed as “sexy” as objects.

But it is less clear what takes place psychologically when we focus on a person’s body and the consequences of objectification. A team of researchers, led by Paul Bloom at Yale University, conducted a series of studies, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, to determine if focusing on a person’s body alters perception of that person, and if it leads to perceive that person differently and whether those perceptions can have benefits.

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When a Flash of Skin Makes a Man Flash His Cash

I’m probably not the only person who’s wondered why muscle-car expos and auto-enthusiast magazines often feature attractive female models, or “car babes,” posing suggestively alongside (or on top of!) luxurious vehicles. Doesn’t the eye candy distract prospective buyers from the cars?

Maybe not. Turns out feminine curves and cold chrome aren’t such an unlikely combination after all. It all boils down to the need to impress a potential mate.

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I Kissed a Girl and HE Liked It: Heterosexual Women and Same-Sex Activities

Have you ever seen two girls (presumed to be heterosexual) making out at a party or bar? If so, you are in the majority. According to a recent study, nearly 70% of college students have witnessed this behavior, and about a third of heterosexual women in this sample reported having kissed another woman in a public place. If you haven’t seen two women kissing at a party or bar, you have surely seen it in the popular media – think Madonna and Britney at the MTV Music Awards or Katy Perry’s hit song “I kissed a girl and I liked it.”

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Are Attractive Women Perceived As Objects?

A new study provides evidence that sexy women are seen as objects, whereas sexy men are seen as persons. College undergraduates were briefly shown images of scantily clad men and women that were either shown right-side up or upside down. Participants recognized upright images of men better than inverted images, while images of women were recognized equally well no matter how they were presented. This is consistent with a longstanding finding in cognitive psychology that we take spatial relationships in account when we view people (i.e., we have a harder time recognizing them when they’re upside down), but not objects.  

To learn more about the details of this study, check out this article on The Psychology of Human Sexuality.

Bernard, P., Gervais, S. J., Allen, J., Campomizzi, S., & Klein, O. (2012). Integrating sexual objectification with object versus person recognition: The sexualized-body-inversion hypothesis. Psychological Science, 23, 469-471.

image source: polopuentearanda.com