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Women Stare at Breasts Just as Much as Men, Study Shows

Gaping at another woman’s breasts has left many a man in the doghouse, but new research shows that women may be just as guilty as sneaking peeks at sizeable sweater meat. The study, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, focuses on how humans physically assess each other. Some of the findings are predictable, but others shed light on the fact that women share some of the same tendencies as their mouth-breathing counterparts.

Female Objectification: We All Do It

The study suggests that people view others in two different ways: globally (assessing the whole picture) and locally (in segments). People are much more likely to see men in a global manner than women, who are usually broken down into smaller segments. The mental function of local processing requires the viewer to break the person down into smaller parts, thus objectifying them. That’s right, men and women both take part in the process of objectifying women.

"We can't just pin this on the men. Women are perceiving women this way, too," said Sarah Gervais, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the study's lead author. "It could be related to different motives. Men might be doing it because they're interested in potential mates, while women may do it as more of a comparison with themselves. But what we do know is that they're both doing it," she told Science Daily.

How The Study Worked

The study involved showing participants images of fully-clothed, average-looking men and women. The images were selected for their similarities, in order to best understand how people view others in general.

Next, the participants saw two new images. The first was the unmodified original image, while the second was slightly modified to contain a sexual body part of the man or woman. It was then the participants’ duty to indicate which of the two images they had seen.

The results were consistent across both genders. Women's sexual body parts were more easily recognized when presented in segments than when they were presented globally, in the context of their entire body. The same isn’t true for men, though: their sexual body parts were better recognized within the context of their whole body.

For whatever reason, people enjoy zoning in on female “segments,” like the breasts, buttocks, legs, and other highly sexualized areas. "Local processing underlies the way we think about objects: houses, cars and so on,” Gervais said. “But global processing should prevent us from that when it comes to people. We don't break people down to their parts—except when it comes to women, which is really striking. Women were perceived in the same ways that objects are viewed."

Scheduling Your Personal Consultation

The results of Gervais’ study show what we’ve known all along. While Breast Augmentation Resources doesn’t support female objectification, we stand behind women who are looking to improve their self esteem. Breast surgery like breast reduction, breast augmentation, breast lifts, and breast fat transfers can help transform your breasts into a part of your body that makes you feel confident and proud. Contact our representatives now to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area.

 

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