Men really do see scantily-clad women as objects!

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Yes, the objectification certainly.  Whether that translates into overt sexualization in every instance is another matter.  I would say it does universally, which is why the obvious problems exist in society.  Some at least though are able to pick their knuckles up off the floor and discard the club, while others continually demonstrate an inability to do so.  We call them criminals who should be locked away.


Ha, good twist slumberjack.  So you're saying objectification of sexualized woman is infact a biological trend?


and just to add how the f did you go from a thread on objectifying sexualized women to biological sexual preference such as homosexuality?  wow that was a dumb comment slumberjack.


I don't see at as being dumb.  The object here is to determine where the line is between visual stimulus and barbaric actions resulting from it imv, and whether or not it is in all of us, like a ticking time bomb.  It makes sense to me at least to consider other factors as well.


Heh, I guess that leaves us conflicting viewpoints...I beleive the objectification is of a social nature stemming from the patriarchy we're socially bound to and not biological reasons. Think Fiske can come up with an experiement to test that one?


 The object here is to determine where the line is between visual stimulus and barbaric actions resulting from it imv


I agree with you there...but visual stimilus has 3 components to it...physical, individual, and social. Each of those 3 will come to bear in how they react, concentrating only on the physical/biological seems narrow to me.

remind remind's picture

Okay, having distilled this down to what objectification is in its broad definition. A process of making something abstract, intangible, or unknown into a concrete thing. As such, Friske's study can be seen to be the study of said process for what occurs in the male brain when women's pictures, along varying degrees of predetermined, by current societal norms of known attributes determining women's objectification, poses. This was done through headless bikini body shots, through to fully clothed head and body shots.

Now, it has long been held that within the process of objectification, certain conditions, or factors occur.

1. Instrumentality as in a synonym for a tool

2. Non-perception of personal autonomy or having no agency to self determine

3.  Ownership

4. Interchangable without regard

5. Denial of reality experiences or feelings, no subjective reality is considered

From this perception, objectification is not complex, nor is it a concept. It is a process that can be described, as been described. As such, I feel that perhaps it is men who are choosing to ignore what the history of objectification is, and who exactly it impacts and who thus know and feel exactly what it is, and can readily understand what the process is.

A tool is not different than an object, it is an instrumental object, it has no human, nor "alive" quotient, no thoughts feelings or desires, no history, no ability to act upon its own from its own initative.

So I am not sure what "history" you are speaking of catchfire, that is being ignored, nor do I perceive that objectification has been revised by women.


Necrofiliacs and abusers, two categories of individuals who are drawn towards objects where it doesn't particularily matter if feelings or desires are present.

remind remind's picture

I see no categories, I see a sliding scale, of those engaging in the process of objectification, to greater or lesser degrees.

martin dufresne

Look at who objectifies: we seem to be thinking of the watchers, but what about the producers of these images (including the decision-makers), those who make sure to keep the watchers on track...

Rexdale_Punjabi Rexdale_Punjabi's picture

here u go stop arguing every1 was kind of right n wrong same wit me


Had to step away to pull a few upstairs levers that are rarely used, and when the grinding subsided the issue here became not one of 'what's the harm in looking at a picture,' but of the harm that arises when images become human beings that are seen as nothing other than one dimensional pleasure inducing objects to acquire, pictures representing a shopping catalogue of 'nice to haves.'  Previously, the thought occurred to provide an analogy, purely for illustrative purposes mind you, where I'm gay, with a particular interest in large hairy bald men, thumbing through a magazine containing underwear models of people that meet that description, and seeing nothing but page after page of eye candy, and wouldn't that be the same sort of objectification that is being discussed here?  No it wouldn't.  There's little indication, that we hear of at least, with patriarchal violence being a problem as a result in that scenario, nor is there when women look at pictures of men.  There isn't much evidence if any that I'm aware of, that they subsequently transfer their thoughts, fantasies, and role play imaginations upon unwilling partners who are then beaten up if they don't comply or measure up to what it is that they see in the pictures.  The power imbalance present when someone decides that whatever it is they think about when viewing images in everyday life can be just as easily obtained with a partner, whether they choose to go along with it or not, can manifest itself through countless ways and situations, and it is usually the case that when this is the reality for women, the least of what can occur is that they become non-consenting caricatures for someone else's pleasure.  There are no other non-criminalized examples to point at among the many different types of human interaction where imagery carries the potential for abuse.


The "scantily-clad" women who posed for these pictures were objectifying themselves already.  Maybe they were even paid to pose, thus commodifying themselves.

Furthermore, these images are "objects" by definition, as they are objects used in an experiment.

And what's worse, someone objectifying these objects, or someone making a personal connexion with these pictures?  If a man were talking to these images, treating them as if they were living people and trying to have a human relationship with them, he'd be locked up in a rubber room.



Dana Larsen

It's a bit hard to tell from the wording of the article, but it seems like the photos of women in bikinis only showed their bodies, and not their heads or faces. Surely this is an important consideration?

Most of the men best remembered headless photographs of women in bikinis, even if they'd only seen the image for two-tenths of a second, Fiske reported this weekend in Chicago during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

And the men who scored higher as "hostile sexists"—those who view women as controlling and invaders of male space—didn't show brain activity that indicates they saw the women in bikinis as humans with thoughts and intentions.

And once again, without any corresponding look at how females brains react to the same stimuli, this study by itself cannot tell us anything about sexual differences.

The debate here is based upon the conclusion that women's brains wouldn't show the same results, but we don't know if that is the case.

Dana Larsen

It seems to me that by itself very little is learned by this study.

What would be more interesting is to do this kind of analysis across a wider spectrum of people, genders and ages.

How do the brains of homosexuals react? What about people who are asexual, or people who haven't yet hit puberty? And what about other cultures? For instance, in cultures where men and women are more often unclothed and see each other naked more frequently, do these same effects occur?

All this study tells us is a little bit about the minds of a handful of heterosexual male college students. Without being able to compare these results to those of other groups we simply cannot draw any conclusions about gender or social differences between unstudied groups.

Everyone comes to a study like this with their own preconceived ideas about what the results will be and what they mean. Even the study researcher has a preconceived idea about how men and women differ:

If a similar study were done with women, Fiske told National Geographic News, it would be hard to predict whether a woman shown a scantily clad male body would dehumanize him in the same way.

Evolutionary psychologists have proposed that women tend to look for mates who have wealth and power, so some of Fiske's colleagues have suggested running a similar test where women are shown pictures of men next to expensive cars or other affluent symbols.

But Fiske doesn't think such an experiment would work the same way, because women usually react to men they desire by "interpreting their minds, thinking about what they're interested in, and then trying to please them," she said.

It seems to me that this would be a great study, and it is a shame that she didn't expand their study group to include women as well.

Cueball Cueball's picture

News of the weird.


Dana Larsen wrote:
Everyone comes to a study like this with their own preconceived ideas about what the results will be and what they mean.

I suppose it is preconceived to a large extent.  It's not as if we do not already have the wider empirical data within society as to which segment is more likely, aided by a physical power imbalance and the traditional instilled notion of superiority, to be reinforced in their view that the individuals placed before them, either in print, visual media, or in person for that matter, are purely objects of entertainment, to be treated as such.  The historical preconceptions exist even in the absence of glossy photos or images.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Long thread.


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