I don’t think I know any woman who hasn’t had the distinctly skeezy experience of having her tits addressed by a dude attempting to have a conversation with her. Big or small, covered or revealed, tits are apparently SO HYPNOTIC that some dudes–no, make that a LOT of dudes– can’t manage to meet a woman’s gaze, or at least not stare at her rack, while discussing TPS reports, world politics, or the weather.
A new study by an Israeli scientist investigated how that experience–or at least that understanding of that experience–changes women’s behavior. Using cameras aimed at subjects’ bodies or faces (or no cameras at all), Tamar Saguay and her team
found that women talked about themselves for less time than men, but only if they thought they were being visually inspected by a man, and particularly if they thought their bodies were being checked out. They used the full two minutes if they were describing themselves to another woman (no matter where the camera was pointing) or if they were speaking to a man who could hear but not see them. But if their partner was a man watching their bodies, they spoke for just under one-and-a-half minutes.
Science Blogs’ ‘It Ain’t Rocket Science” gives a run-down of the study, with graphics, and links to the super-duper mamas over at feminism101 for some context/evidence that our culture does indeed objectify women on the regular. (And hoo-doggie, are those laydeez stacked!)
The comments are an interesting/infuriating mix. There are a number of comments like: “well, I never feel objectified, so women just need to be stronger to deal with it!” and “that women feel this way is just further evidence that they are inferior to men” and “just because a guy is staring at your boobs doesn’t mean he’s objectifying you–that’s your interpretation.”
And, thank maude (who also has great tits), there are enough comments from women and men both, refuting such nonsense and offering various theories that might explain Saguy’s results. If you’re feeling even somewhat jerk-proof, they’re worth a skim. (It helps if you pound a shot every time you read something like “but we’re evolutionarily programmed to seek mates with the most savory knockers! It’s Science!”)
I’m not a scientist or statistician, so, as always, my assessment of this study is that of an educated amateur, but I know we have some numbah-crunchin’ readers. Could some of you hot broads weigh in? The full study is in the journal Psychological Science, but I don’t have access to that.
In any case, I’m curious as to your take. Although it’s not clear if the women who had cameras pointed at their bodies knew they spoke for shorter amounts of time, what do you think is behind it? Obviously, there could be as many reasons as women, but since most of us have been in this situation (if not in a lab), what has your experience been?
“I’m going to quit talking so you realize how inappropriate you’re being.”
“I’m going to quit talking so you quit having an excuse to look”
“I’m going to quit talking so I can get the hell away from you, Creepasaurus Rex.”
“I’m going to quit talking so you won’t get mad/get angry/have a ‘reason’ to harm me.”