By Chelsea Karnash
LINCOLN, NE (CBS) – A new study has confirmed something women have been complaining about for years.
The research, out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and published in the Springer-published journal Sex Roles, essentially corroborates the belief that people tend to focus more on the breasts and figure of a woman when analyzing her appearance than they do on her face.
According to researchers, the study was the first ever to use eye-tracking technology to examine the glances of men when the “ogle” or “check out” women, whereas previous research had used only women’s self-reported experiences.
After monitoring how the gazes of 29 women and 36 men from a large Midwestern university reacted to images of the same group of female models with various body shapes, scientists concluded that participants focused more on the female’s chests and figure when asked to evaluate their appearance than they did on the women’s facial features.
Unsurprisingly, women with narrow waists, full breasts and larger hips – the classic hourglass figure – were rated more favorably than their less voluptuous counterparts, even when men were asked to assess a woman’s personality (rather than attractiveness) based on her appearance in the photos.
But perhaps what’s most interesting is that women also tended to objectify other females in the same way that men did. They, too, spent more time focusing on figure than face.
“Generally speaking, people are more positive towards a more attractive woman than a less attractive one,” lead researcher Sarah Gervais said. “However, attractiveness may also be a liability, because while evaluating them positively, ‘gazers’ still focus less on individuating and personalizing features, such as faces, and more on the bodies of attractive women.”
To see the study, click here.