Women good, bad and ogly
April 16, 2007 08:56am
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WOMEN are more prone to ogling than men despite the widespread belief they are less focused on the physical, a study suggests.
Scientists used eye-tracking technology to pinpoint what people looked at when shown a series of sexy photos. They expected women to be more interested in faces, and men in genitals.
To their surprise, they found almost the reverse was true. Men were more likely than women to linger on the face before diverting their attention to other parts of the body. But women spent longer poring over images of couples performing sexual acts.
US study leader Heather Rupp, from the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University, confirmed the findings. "Men looked at the female face much more than women, and both looked at the genitals comparably," she said.
"The eye-tracking data suggested what women paid most attention to was dependent on their hormonal state. Women who were using hormonal contraceptives looked more at the genitals, while women who were not using hormonal contraceptives paid more attention to contextual elements of the photographs."
The findings, reported in the journal Hormones And Behaviour, support previous research suggesting that men and women have different patterns of brain activity when viewing sexually stimulating images.