According to an article reporting on a study conducted at Indiana University’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, men “find it difficult to tell the difference between women who are being friendly and women who are interested in [sex].” In the study, male and female undergraduate students viewed pictures of women and “had to categorize each as friendly, sexually interested, sad or rejecting.”
Apparently only pictures of women were used. Why not pictures of men? This suggests that one can tell from the way a woman looks whether she wants it or not. While presumaby the study used facial expressions and other nonverbal body cues, this promotes the idea that a woman’s appearance–but not a man’s appearance–can be an invitation for sex.
Nevertheless, that is how the study was conducted. The findings of the study and their interpretation are noteworthy, too. While women tended to categorize the pictures correctly, men tended to interpret friendliness as sexual interest. It would be easy here to stop and say that men have been trained to believe that all women want sex all the time. But men tended to miscategorize all the pictures. “When images of [women] meant to show allure flashed onto the screen, male students mistook the allure as amicable signals. ” So men thought women wanted sex when women were just being friendly, and when women were interested in something sexual, men didn’t recognize that.
So, instead of men having been raised to believe that women are insatiable sex machines, it turns out that men really don’t care what women want. Perhaps men have been raised to believe that what women want is irrelevant to them. Their task is to go after what they want. Something not stated in the article is whether the men and women were asked to rate their own attraction to the women in the pictures. It would be interesting to know whether men were more likely to categorize the images of women that they found desirable as sexually interested.
I wish I had time to write brilliant posts about a couple of current topics. Since I don’t, I will point you to other blog posts about each of these important topics:
Topic: Spitzer and prostitution, Blog: I blame the patriarchy, Post: Spinster weighs in on Spitzer
Topic: Obama’s pastor and ignoring misogyny, Blog: The Confluence, Post: Thursday — Jeremiah’s Right
Tina Fey tells it like it is on SNL!
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO
Who would have thought that Tim Russert could be the loser of the Democratic presidential debate last night. As a supporter of Clinton, even I have to say it seemed like a draw between Clinton and Obama. But moderator Russert demonstrated what a loser he is.
For those who didn’t see it, Russert was on the attack against Clinton and Obama. Instead of trying to get solid answers on their policy differences, he tried to trip them up over petty points and questioned them with endless hypotheticals. He treated Senator Clinton with a smug, disrespectful attitude and at times (the Farrakhan question, for example) was not much better in his treatment of Obama.
During the debate, when Russert asked the question about Russia, I thought it was directed at Senator Clinton, but after the debate Rusert claimed that he asked the question for either candidate and that Clinton spoke up first and took the question. He mocked her for stating that she always gets the first question and then sneared that she actually likes to answer questions. Russert reminded me of a power rapist gloating over his perceived truth that the victim really likes the mistreatment.
Tim Russert, shame on you!
Mad Kane posted about subtly sexist comments in the Obama campaign. She quotes Gary Goshgarian about the catch-22 of women’s reactions to subtle sexism:
Women may seem to have made tremendous progress professionally and academically, but they are held back by indirect sexist comments and attitudes. They are caught in a catch-22. If they react against these seemingly small slights, they appear to be overreacting or too sensitive. But to let them pass may signal that such comments are somehow acceptable.
Mad Kane asks,
So where’s the blogger outrage over Obama’s sexism? Lots of luck finding it among the A-list bloggers — the male ones, at least. They have a much better time of it interpreting everything the Clinton team does as racist.
Louise Livesey of the f word blog caught the significance of the word periodically in a statement that Barack Obama made about Hillary Clinton. Read her post by clicking the links in this post.