Subjects: Behavioral health
Only the good lord and a handful of scientists could know what goes through a man’s mind when he spots a bikini-clad woman, and one of the latter just reported at the AAAS meeting that men perceive such women to be objects.
Specifically, a part of the brain associated with tool handling and an intent to carry out tasks shows increased activity and blood flow when men watch images of scantily-clad women, according to Susan Fiske, a psychology professor at Princeton.
Meanwhile in many men, it was like somebody pulled the plug on the part of the brain that analyzes other people’s feelings, thoughts and intentions, she added.
The “study…was focused on the idea that men of a certain age view sex as a highly desirable goal, and if you present them with a provocative woman, then that will tend to prime goal-related responses,” Fiske explained to CNN.
Fiske’s study did not examine how women responded to similarly provocative images of men.
Fiske emphasized that the observed reactions in men were not a matter of conscious control. In fact, the poor guys weren’t necessarily even aware what was going on upstairs.
Hundreds of millions of years before humans developed consciousness, males of all species must have been driven to hook up with what they perceived to be the most fertile females as a means to keep their species in the game, so what’s the big deal?
Men “don’t know the extent to which they’re being influenced,” Fiske explained. “It’s important to recognize the effects.”