Women and the Male Brain

Feb 22, 2009
by: daneb
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    Women who wear bikinis are tools, at least according to men that is.  A recent study by Princeton University professor Susan Fiske shines a scientific light on the objectifying male brain.  The study involved 21 heterosexual male subjects who were shown pictures of scantily clad women while being subjected to brain scans.  The study confirmed the popular belief that men viewing women in this way thought of them as objects and not as other people.

Brain scans revealed that when men are shown pictures of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lights up.

Bikinis Make Men See Women as Objects, Scans Confirm


The part of the brain involved in identifying with another person and predicting their intentions did not "light up" with as much intensity as is normal when people look at pictures of other people.  Scientists recognized the absence of activation in those brain regions, however, because it is the same phenomenon that occurs when people are shown pictures of homeless people or drug addicts.


Other studies have also found evidence identifying how men can view women as objects.  One study had men associate certain verbs with pictures of women.  If the women were wearing bikini's, the men consistently chose action verbs with themselves as the subject (and thus, according to researchers, the woman as the object).


A supplementary study on both male and female undergraduates found that men tend to associate bikini-clad women with first-person action verbs such as I "push," "handle" and "grab" instead of the third-person forms such as she "pushes," "handles" and "grabs." They associated fully clothed women, on the other hand, with the third-person forms, indicating these women were perceived as in control of their own actions. The females who took the test did not show this effect, Fiske said. Don't Miss * Study: Experiences make us happier than possessions * Seeing color in sounds has genetic link

Men see bikini-clad women as objects, psychologists say - CNN.com


Though no research has yet been done, it is likely that women might have a similarly strange brain activation when viewing pictures of almost-naked men.  Or, perhaps more likely, when viewing men in positions of power and wealth.


These studies don't seem to bring up ideas that most of us weren't already  aware of.  They do however bring them to the forefront of our consciousnesses once again.  I think both men and women should take away from this that they need to be careful of their biological dispositions and be aware of the factors that are affecting their own judgment or the judgment of someone else.