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Who Looks Where How Often

“Gender Differences for Specific Body Regions When Looking at Men and Women,” Johannes Hewig, Ralf H. Trippe, Holger Hecht, Thomas Straube and Wolfgang H.R. Miltner, Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, vol. 32, no. 2, June 2008, pp. 67–78 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10919-007-0043-5). (Thanks to Nicole Bordes for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany, report:

“The goal of the present study was to provide first evidence for gender differences in gaze patterns while looking at the body of men and women. For this purpose participants were exposed to 30 pictures of 15 male and 15 female models in casual clothing. The individual scan paths were recorded using an eye-tracker. The results show that both male and female observers primarily gaze at people’s face. Only after this initial face-scan, men look significantly earlier and longer at women’s breasts, while women look earlier at men’s legs. These observations uncover important aspects of the pattern of the human gaze at others and particularly reveal important gender differences.”

(That’s an excerpt from the article “Boys Will Be Boys,” Published in AIR 14:5.)

Improbable Research