Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fascinating post about gendered responses to viewing nudes

I came across this link today, which was traveling across Twitter, and clicked over. From the point of view of an anthropologist, this is fascinating. Here's the opener from the article by Dr. Lisa Wade (no relation):

Last year in a post about the truism “sex sells,” I asked:

But whose sex is sold? And to who?

“If it was simply that sex sold,” I continued…

…we’d see men and women equally sexually objectified in popular culture. Instead, we see, primarily, women sold to (presumably heterosexual) men. So what are we selling, exactly, if not “sex”?

I argued that what was really being sold was men’s (presumably heterosexual) sexual subjectivity, the experience of being a person in the world who was presented with images that were for his titillation. Women do not live in the world this way.

The author then follows up with a study on male and female responses to viewing nudes. It's absolutely fascinating, and I highly encourage you to look.