Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bran Scans of Men Viewing Bikini Clad Women

Shocking News... Images of women in bikinis turn off the empathy section of men's brains and turn on the section associated with using power tools, especially if the head/face has been digitally removed from the body. They associate bikini clad women with first person phrases like "I push" or "I handle", while they associated fully clothed women with third person phrases like "she pushes" or "she handles". This study is particularly puzzling. It goes against everything we know from personal and societal experience.

On a slightly more serious note: I wonder if the group of men studied distorted these results. It appears they were all undergraduates at Princeton, suggesting to me that they weren't married and were living in a particularly promiscuous environment. I doubt that college age guys are particularly representative of the male population at large, though they are likely representative of the male population at certain destination beaches.

And in the mildly humorous column: Most news articles reporting this have sample images, just so you know what they are talking about. They would hate for there to be any confusion on this. Their copy editors I'm sure will assure us that they actually take the Princeton researcher quite seriously when not trying to attract greater readership. wink, wink.

PS: Yeah, I know this is year and a half old news. Things tend to get by you when you live most of your life under a rock.


Kevin said...

I think it's funny that the Guardian took the high road and put up a (suggestive?) photo of a drill going into wood.

I wonder what happens to women's brains when they use power tools, and/or whatever the female equivalent is.

"It's as if they immediately thought to act on these bodies," Fiske said.

Douglas said...

Kevin, I never noticed the suggestiveness of the photo. The Brits certainly have a wry sense of humor.

It would be interesting to see this applied to both women and homosexuals, as well as a broader cross-section of straight males.