Critiques of popular media as “objectifying” women are dead on — both males and females have been found to subconsciously process sexy women as being inanimate objects, yet recognize sexy men as human beings. Via Psychological Science:
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Perfume ads, beer billboards, movie posters: everywhere you look, women’s sexualized bodies are on display. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that both men and women see images of sexy women’s bodies as objects, while they see sexy-looking men as people.
Psychological research has worked out that our brains see people and objects in different ways. For example, while we’re good at recognizing a whole face, just part of a face is a bit baffling. On the other hand, recognizing part of a chair is just as easy as recognizing a whole chair. One way that psychologists have found to test whether something is seen as an object is by turning it upside down.