Sexy Images and Brain Chemistry, S. Fiske Ph.D., Princeton

Ian Sample, Chicago
Monday 16 February 2009 13.42 GMT

Christine Dell'Amore in Chicago
National Geographic News
February 16, 2009

Men are more likely to think of women as objects if they have looked at sexy pictures of females beforehand, psychologists said yesterday.Brain scans revealed that when men are shown pictures of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lights up.

Men were also more likely to associate images of sexualized women with first-person action verbs such as "I push, I grasp, I handle," (that about covers it, giggles!) said lead researcher Susan Fiske, a psychologist at Princeton University. And in a "shocking"* finding, Fiske noted, some of the men studied showed no activity in the part of the brain that usually responds when a person ponders another's intentions.
The changes in brain activity suggest sexy images can shift the way men perceive women, turning them from people to interact with, to objects to act upon.
Both women and men have something to learn from this line of research, Raison said. Women should be aware of how they are perceived when wearing provocative clothing, and men shouldn't let feelings of impersonal sexual longing interfere with their more personal relationships (or judgments!) with other women, including female friends.

Women may also depersonalize men in certain situations, but published research on the subject has not been done, experts say. Evolutionary psychology would theorize that men view women as objects in terms of their youth and apparent fertility, while women might view men as instrumental in terms of their status and resources, Fiske said.
. ...more from National Geographic


Oh please!

Women have objectified men for as long as men have objectified women. Both sexes play into this, and I would suggest, very equally....women may have invented it!

What is interesting is the why and the way it works, what is going on in our brain, and how much of who we are is subconscious, primal and instinctive. How Pavlovian are we, and how much of how we think do we reinforce through repetition?

For some this mind set is total, some occasional and others rarely if ever.

Awareness creates the variant response.

This survival behaviour, and that is exactly what it is, is no longer necessary, so why do we continue to employ it?

Do we sacrifice authentic, whole being love when we succumb to this behaviour of survival, or when we fear the behaviour in someone else?
When authentic love is there, free for the taking, are the beautiful or wealthy so afraid that they ignore it? All too often, yes. .....and that is why we so often see the rich and beautiful sitting home alone.

Is there any reason to wonder that beautiful women and wealthy men, or visa versa, are insecure, not terribly trusting, and sometimes a little paranoid even?

Do they know consciously, and sense subconsciously, that the motives of their latest lover may be self serving or skewed at best? Does their perceived wealth or attractiveness spark fear in the new lover, and does that interfere with pure, and real communication, and vulnerability?....how could it not

In an odd way, the rich and beautiful are no different than anyone else, the universe has given them a deliciously rare gift .......(we all get one)......and an equally, and exquisitely heavy cross.....such is the nature of the universe

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Vikram Madan said...

Scott Peck explains objectification in terms of 'cathexis'.

There is a wonderful chapter on cathexis in his book 'the road less travelled'.

The way I see it all is...

In the early stage of attraction, couples cathect each other (the object of their desire) EXACTLY like they would cathect an inanimate object, like a new car..

But soon the cathexis wears off and the object of their desire stops appealing to them, and they start looking for a new object to cathect...I have observed many people for a very long time....and it is the SAME as getting bored of an old car/computer and looking for a new model.. but if you ask them, they will say that they fell in and out of 'love'.

They see a romantic interest exactly as they would see a car, or a fancy computer....an object of desire. That they can marry & bend and fit according to their needs. Use in some manner.

Mechanical emotions...

The male tries to turn his lover into a barbie, continuously gives her examples of movie actresses....tries to convert her into a bizarre mixture of his mother and the movie actresses he likes most!

The female tries to convert her man into a superman or a movie hero or her father. Actually, she tries to turn him into the exact opposite of whatever it was that attracted her!!

A beautiful/talented wife is often referred to as a 'prize catch' or a 'trophy'.

In so many cases, the beautiful/talented wife also looks upon herself as a 'trophy/prize'!!

Nothing wrong with such labels and such play, as long as they don't destroy each other and make each other suffer.

I am not against any outlook, any perspective, as long as it is just PLAY, and there is sanity in the play involved.

Have a look at this blog entry I wrote in 2007. In it I wrote about the 'mechanical nature of emotions' that I've noticed in many people..

LINK: Control Freaks and Love.

Vikram Madan said...

Actually, I can't complain against males who love movie actresses & larger than life heroines - Its not an obsession for me--but--for example - I was a member of 'supersexyheroines.com' for a month!!

Its got videos and images of hot women in superheroine costumes, roughing up male goons.

For some reason such images&videos are a turn on for me (as for millions of men).

In real life -- a huge number of guys eventually end up fantasising about being roughed up by a supersexyheroine.

I admit succumbing to such a fantasy, in my imaginary world, a few times, in which I was the goon taking the hits.

Just my way of 'feeling the power'. No crying, self-defeating fantasies involved. A bit like a boxing match in which I take the hits. :-)

It was just a sexual thing. I am straight - therefore never fantasised about being roughed up by a male.

Such a sexual fantasy-being roughed up by a supersexyheroine - is very common in males. Though they won't accept it!

MD said...

".Such a sexual fantasy-being roughed up by a supersexyheroine - is very common in males. Though they won't accept it!...."

very cool!

The erotic and sensual permeates all...

life is hot!