I found this interesting article in the Guardian about the effect that sexualised images of women have on men’s brains:
“Men are more likely to think of women as objects if they have looked at sexy pictures of females beforehand, psychologists said yesterday….Researchers used brain scans to show that when straight men looked at pictures of women in bikinis, areas of the brain that normally light up in anticipation of using tools, like spanners and screwdrivers, were activated….Scans of some of the men found that a part of the brain associated with empathy for other people’s emotions and wishes shut down after looking at the pictures…..”
It’s easy to dismiss such research as a bit of a joke, but it is making a serious point, that looking at pornography changes the way men view women, from people with whom they should interact to objects that they can use.
2 thoughts on “Sexualised Images Change Men’s View of Women”
I was going to study this for my dissertation but chose something else in the end. And the interesting thing is that sexualised pictures of women change how women perceive themselves as well. If you look at men and womens magazines, male and female pornography, and teen girls magazines there is a stereotype of male sexual dominace and female sexual complience. So not only do the males objectivise women, but women can begin to agree. It’s like the gossip magazines which run articles that say "Look here’s a close up of Angelina’s cellutite – isn’t that terrible". They’d like to believe that makes women think "Well even Angelina’s got cellulite", But, the underlying message is still Cellulite is bad – if you have cellulite it’s bad.The sooner the media are called to account for the way they deliberately psychologically manipulate society, the better.