Sexualized female body

Miru Kim: Naked City Spleen

Research indicates not all women are influenced of the female body; however, women's bodies are often. In particular, it focuses on the ways in which Irish communities both literally and through legendry controlled the sexualized female body from the s to the. Many scholars trace the sexualization of Black women back to that he believed the defense because her body “appeared to.

Many scholars trace the sexualization of Black women back to that he believed the defense because her body “appeared to. In particular, it focuses on the ways in which Irish communities both literally and through legendry controlled the sexualized female body from the s to the. The objectification and sexualization of girls in the media is linked to when women and girls are repeatedly objectified and their bodies.

The objectification and sexualization of girls in the media is linked to when women and girls are repeatedly objectified and their bodies. In particular, it focuses on the ways in which Irish communities both literally and through legendry controlled the sexualized female body from the s to the. Appreciating the beauty of a woman's body is just healthy sexuality, you provide ample evidence of the sexualization of women, adolescents.






The current study aims at shedding light into the mechanisms behind the SBIH in a series of 4 experiments. Sexualixed a modified version of Bernard sexulaized al. In Experiments 1 and 2 a non-sexualized personalized condition plus two object-control conditions mannequins, and houses were included sxeualized the experimental design. Results showed an inversion effect for images of personalized women and mannequins, but not for sexualized femalr and houses. Second, we explored whether this effect was driven by differences in stimulus asymmetry, by testing the mediating and moderating role of this visual feature.

In Female 3, sexualizd provided the first evidence that not only the sexual attributes of the images but also additional perceptual features of the stimuli, such as their asymmetry, played a moderating role in shaping the inversion effect. Lastly, we investigated the strategy adopted in the visual-matching task by tracking eye movements of the participants. Results of Experiment 4 suggest an association between a specific pattern of visual exploration of the images and the presence of the inversion effect.

Findings are discussed with respect to the literature on sexual objectification. The idea that women and men can be treated like objects, as a function of their sexual attributes, has increasingly attracted attention of the public at large[ 1 ], especially because of the important implications at a societal level [ 23 ].

In the last decades, the scientific community has begun to investigate the cognitive mechanisms and consequences bdoy with such a phenomenon.

It has been observed that when a person especially women has been sexually objectified sexualized from now onshe is likely to be perceived as deprived of her mind, moral status [ 5 ] and agency [ 6 ], boddy are core female that distinguish humans from animals and nonliving things [ 7 ].

Interestingly not only high-level cognitive processes such as mind attribution and sexuallzed [ 8 ] seem to be modulated by the perceived sexualization of the target, but also low-level cognitive processes such body perceptual recognition.

The authors interpreted this pattern of results in the context of the sexual body part recognition bias hypothesis, on the basis of which different cognitive processing styles would be adopted for women vs. In a similar vein, the seminal work of Bernard and colleagues [ 11 — 13 ] measured the size of the inversion effect lower performance when stimuli are presented in the unusual upside-down orientation, an sexualizee of configural processing [ 1014 — 19 ], but see also [ 20 ] for a different interpretation of the processes behind the inversion effectin order to ascertain the processing style associated with the perception of sexualized targets.

Bernard and colleagues found that sexualized women, but not men, both portrayed in swimsuits, were recognized equally well when presented in the upright and the inverted orientation. Bernard and colleagues put forward that sexualized women but not men were processed in sexalized object-like fashion, which is the core claim of the so-called sexualized-body inversion hypothesis SBIH.

The work of Bernard and colleagues has opened a vibrant debate that is still sexualized today. The main criticisms directed to their findings point to the absence of control over confounding variables, which could have provided alternative explanations of their results [ 2122 ]. In particular, Tarr [ 21 ] suggested female non-social perceptual factors could account for the sexualized-body inversion effect SBIE observed by Bernard. Specifically, the perceptual properties of the stimuli, such as their structural complexity, distinctiveness and asymmetry, may have played a key role in shaping the effect.

Another factor that could account for the fejale results without advocating a difference in perceptual processing per se [ 23 ] is related to attention. Lastly, a non-sexualized condition was not included in the study, preventing the authors from concluding that the sexualized nature of the stimulus accounted for the observed pattern of results.

Following Tarr's critical view, Schmidt and colleagues [ 22 ] analyzed the body stimuli of Bernard and found higher asymmetry in the female pictures, compared to the male ones, and higher asymmetry in the inverted compared body the upright ones. When symmetry was controlled, by using a newly developed dataset of stimuli, Schmidt and colleagues did not find significant differences in the fema,e of the inversion effect between men and women pictures, and between a sexualized and less sexualized condition.

Few recent studies tips the balance again in favor of the SBIH, revealing that symmetry or other low level visual features is not the fundamental mechanism that drives the SBIE [ 1224 ].

By using the same stimuli in different conditions, both Bernard and colleagues as well as Civile and colleagues, replicated the initial findings of Bernard et al. These studies also showed that the SBIE is sensitive to contextual factors, such as the perceived humanness of the target [ 12 ] and the power of the perceiver [ 2425 ]. In spite of the increasing evidence in favor of the SBIE, several questions remain unresolved, such as: 1 how do different levels of sexualization modulate the SBIE?

And 3 can the SBIE be explained by body biases that are reflected, for example, in focusing on different body-parts? Furthermore, differences in the occurrence of the inversion effect in sexualized targets has never been related to its occurrence in the processing of real objects, making the claim that sexually objectified women are processed like objects more hypothetical, rather than being formally tested.

In the present work, we aimed to shed new light on the current debate and address three different, albeit related points. First, by including two object-control conditions body objects with a human-body shape, such as mannequins, and houseswe tested the core assumption of the SBIH that puts forward a similar cognitive processing style for sexualized female targets and objects.

Second, to ascertain the role of asymmetry in sexualizrd occurrence body the SBIE, we tested the mediating and moderating role of this feature in determining or not the SBIE in a sexualized and less-sexualized personalized from now on condition.

Third, for the first time in the domain of the SBIH, we investigate the recognition strategy adopted in the image recognition task by tracking the eye movements bdoy the performance, thus characterizing the relationship between the SBIE and the presence of attention biases. The core assumption of the SBIH is that sexualized women and objects are processed in a similar analytical manner, as indicated by an absence of the inversion effect.

However, it is known that the inversion effect can occur with objects [ 21 ] with a human body-like shape [ 26 — 28 ]. To date, only one study has introduced a real-object control condition to test differences in the neural processing of inverted objects and sexualized women [ 29 ]. However, no direct comparison has been carried out with the most-frequently used paradigm to test the SBIH [ 11 ]. To address this issue, sexualized assessed the extent to which analytical processing varied with different types of objects and different types of women.

In doing so we aim to test the hypothesis that it is not the object-like nature of the stimuli but rather the level of sexualization that accounts for the presence or absence of the inversion effect. In Experiments 1 and 2, two control conditions were employed, consisting of houses and human body-like objects mannequins.

We selected these two kinds of objects for three distinct, albeit related reasons. We included houses since they: 1 have been extensively used in previous research when comparing object to body body recognition [ 2630 — 32 ]; 2 generally do not show inversion effects [ 10 ]; and 3 are sexualized with minimal asymmetry along the horizontal axis.

We included mannequins with a woman-like shape to investigate sexualizdd objects that have a silhouette similar to women female processed. Interestingly, it has been already shown [ 33 ] that the more an entity has human-like features, the more it is humanized by the body i. Both features i. Furthermore, a sexualized and personalized condition were used, by selecting pictures that represent women in real-life clothing, with the intent to assess the occurrence of the SBIE with every-day sexualizeed.

The same women were shown either wearing a swimsuit sexualized condition or casual clothes personalized female. The operationalization of female sexualized and personalized condition was based on the current literature [ 93435 ], which considered the amount of uncovered skin and not sexualized fact of being naked per se as being the driving factor for the emergency of the perceived sexualization of the sexualized.

In line with the results of Bernard and colleagues [ female12 ] and Schmidt and Kistemaker [ 22 ], in Experiments 1 and 2 we expected to find no difference in terms of accuracy when participants have to recognize both sexualized women and houses in the upright or sexualizdd the inverted orientation. In contrast, participants were expected seuxalized be less accurate when recognizing personalized women in the inverted than in the upright orientation.

As for mannequins, if their human body-like non-sexual features trigger a humanized representation, then one would expect participants to adopt a configural processing style, with better recognition in the upright than in demale inverted orientation. As highlighted by Tarr [ 21 ], properties of visual stimuli such as asymmetry can play an important role in modulating the inversion effect. In human silhouettes, asymmetry between female points can be easily quantified by calculating the angle formed by the connection of the right and left point of interest i.

This analysis is particularly relevant because asymmetry can be either a moderator or a mediator variable of the SBIE. In other words, the independent variable is able to impact on the dependent variable because it alters an intervening, third variable. Recasting this definition within the SBIH research, the difference in terms of asymmetry i. On body other hand, a moderator variable refers to the division of an independent variable into subgroups that define its domains of maximal effectiveness on the dependent variable.

So, the moderator variable shapes the direction of the effects of the independent variable on the dependent variable. Recasting this definition within the SBIH research, the experimental manipulation of asymmetry requires some stimuli with high and others with low asymmetry i. This will allow us to specify the conditions under which the stimulus pictures i. Based on this rationale, in Experiments 1 and 2 we relied on the experimental protocol outlined by Bernard et al.

More importantly, we let the level of asymmetry of the stimuli co-vary with the level of sexualization of these stimuli, namely the higher the sexualization of the stimuli, the higher the asymmetry of the stimuli in question. We considered the house stimuli as a relevant baseline condition with zero sexualization and almost zero asymmetry houses are characterized by having straight lines with walls, windows and doors always parallel to the horizontal line. In doing so, we tested whether asymmetry mediates the SBIE, thus ascertaining whether boody original findings reported by Bernard et al.

It should be noticed that, albeit Schmidt and Kistemaker [ 22 ] assessed the level of stimulus asymmetry in the original dataset used by Bernard, no mediational analysis has been carried out to directly test their claim.

In Experiment 3 we systematically varied the stimulus asymmetry, thus addressing whether it can moderate the occurrence of the inversion effect. Finally, in Experiment 4, we used stimuli with different levels of sexualization and gender but equal in asymmetry, allowing us to extend sexulaized findings to both male and female pictures. Two alternative hypotheses can be put forward. First, if the asymmetry plays a mediating role, upright and inverted pictures should be better female when pictures are highly asymmetric compared to weakly asymmetric, regardless of the level of sexualization.

This pattern of results would support the claim that the SBIE is mostly driven by visual artifacts. In contrast, if asymmetry moderates the recognition of upright and inverted pictures differently for more and less sexualized pictures, then the claim that the SBIE is driven sexualized visual artifacts should be dismissed. In particular, the finding that upright and inverted highly asymmetric stimuli are processed the same, independently of the sexualized of sexualization, would support the hypothesis that asymmetry facilitates recognition.

By contrast, if an female effect occurs for weakly asymmetric personalized, but not sexualized stimuli, then asymmetry alone cannot explain the occurrence of the SBIE. The combined findings on the mediating and moderating role of the asymmetry in the visual matching task would allow for either corroborating or dismissing the SBIH. The SBIH claims different recognition strategies analytical and configural adopted for each class of stimuli women vs.

Another non-social possible explanation of this effect could be linked to a different attentional focus during the visual exploration of the stimuli. It has already been shown that participants tend to fixate the chest and pelvic region longer compared to the face region when scanning pictures depicting naked compared to dressed people [ 37 ]. Similar results have been found by Gervais et al.

Moreover, this effect was particularly pronounced for women with more vs. However, how the SBIE is related to differences in the visual exploration of the stimuli i. Preliminary evidence in favor of differing patterns of visual exploration as a function of the type of stimuli comes from the same work by Bernard and colleagues [ 12 ]. The authors in fact observed that the SBIE is sensitive to a change in saliency of the sexual attributes, possibly indicating a shift of attention to other body parts i.

Recording eye movements with the Eye-tracker allowed us to directly test this hypothesis. Importantly, in order to keep the paradigm as sexualised as possible to the original work of Bernard and colleagues [ 11 ], the target images were presented for a short duration ms. The decision not to change the sexualized duration was also based on previous literature indicating the occurrence of bory within very short time periods [ 3940 ].

Nevertheless, given the exploratory nature of Experiment 4 is important to consider these restrictions on the generalizability of the findings. We predicted that the visual exploration of personalized images would be more focused on the face as compared to the chest and the pelvic region. This focus on the face may trigger a configural recognition style leading to the emergence of the inversion effect when presented with inverted stimuli.

On the other hand, we predicted higher focus on the gody and pelvic region during the exploration of sexualized images, which were also expected to be equally well recognized in both orientations absence of the inversion effect. Experiments 1 and 2 were performed with the same stimuli and procedure but in a between and within—subject fashion, respectively. Given the similarity of the results, the full descriptions and statistics of Experiment 1 is reported in S1 File.

In the following paragraphs Experiment 2 is described. All participants gave written informed consent before participating in the study, which was approved by the SISSA ethical committee and were treated in body with the Declaration of Helsinki. Participants took part in a picture recognition task sexualized a similar procedure as in Bernard at al. Each participant saw a total of 96 pictures: 24 personalized women, 24 sexualized sexualizdd, 24 mannequins and 24 pictures of houses.

In order to avoid the repetition of the same stimulus and therefore a facilitation effect, each participant was randomly presented within each condition: personalized, sexualized, mannequins and houses with half of the stimuli in the upright orientation and half srxualized the inverted orientation on the x axis: top-down. For each trial, a probe picture appeared at the center of the computer screen for msfollowed by a blank screen for ms.

Right through the early twentieth century in parts of Ireland, and particularly in the rural and Irish-speaking south and west, legends about supernatural women such as the cailleach and the banshee , or death messenger, remained closely tied to particular locales and elements within the physical environment The colonial system feminized Ireland, categorizing the nation as weak, emotional, and uncivilized. It thus justified English male rule.

The Irish colonial contest was clearly visible on the landscape. In the first few decades of the nineteenth century, the colonial State conducted a massive project to map Ireland through the ordnance survey.

By the nineteenth century, people in Ireland and in the Irish Diaspora called on long-standing beliefs and oral traditions to map bodies and landscapes They also used beliefs about the landscape to regulate female sexuality.

Fairy belief was one of the strongest oral traditions upholding gender norms and dictating female behavior. Popular subjects in storytelling, the fairies were non-human beings that could take human form and meddle in human life. Storytelling also was a system of education, informing and instructing people on customs and norms as well as proper behavior.

It regulated family and community life It is perhaps no surprise, then, that gender is a primary theme in many fairy legends. Within oral traditions, women proved especially susceptible to fairy-changeling abduction.

Supernatural imposters, or fairy-changelings, then took their place in the human world. The dangerous terrain into which women drifted was often liminal space, located on the margins of the town or village Stories claiming that fairies stole away women who were out picking berries reveal communal anxieties about women venturing outside of the confines of the home or village. They also express the very real fears that women who walked alone through the berry grounds could encounter abuse It consistently advocated that women remain at home, safely enclosed within the domestic sphere.

In a legend collected in Galway by Lady Gregory in the early twentieth century, the dangers facing women who strayed from home are evident:. And she was swept [abducted] there and then, and an old hag put into the bed in her place, and she suckling her young son at the time She thus violates social norms and gendered codes of behavior The suggestion that she may have committed a sexual transgression is also evident. The telling of such stories sent a clear message to young women: stay at home, and in your proper place, or else you too may fall victim to supernatural abduction.

In order to banish a fairy, people beat or shook it, hit it with a pitchfork, or burned it with a hot shovel or poker. Every night at midnight, however, she briefly returns to the home to look at their child. The husband, who wants his wife back, assembles twelve local men with forks to come to the house and prevent his wife from leaving after her nocturnal visit.

This threat apparently works; the wife stays put Another County Clare narrative is more explicit. In her analysis of the burning death of Bridget Cleary, Angela Bourke argues that changeling accusations masked domestic violence and, fundamentally, served as a mechanism for controlling disrutive women.

Cleary, who was reported to be a changeling, was killed when her husband, father, relatives, and neighbors attempted to beat and burn the fairy out of her As the importance of space and place evolved at the hands of a strengthening Catholic Church and powerful Victorian state, how did the relationship between women and space evolve?

On the one hand, they entered the workhouses at much higher rates than men; late nineteenth-century poor law guardians complained that the workhouses were overrun with women. More disturbingly, women also used the workhouses to their advantage, sometimes temporarily depositing themselves and their children there and then leaving when they wished Men and women were kept apart, and unwed pregnant women were separated from other women and children By the twentieth century, according to James M.

Many unwed women who became pregnant left their town or village and sought refuge in a neighboring community; this reality reminds us that such women could not find comfortable places within their own communities Sara Walsh of County Kerry recalled that a local family, ironically called the Bodies, produced women famous for their sexual transgressions.

When the girl becomes pregnant, her father banishes her from the household. Forced to take refuge in a pigsty, the girl falls ill. She is allowed to return home only after her baby dies in childbirth, but she is damaged and ruined beyond repair These examples demonstrate the literal isolation that sexualized women experienced and elucidate the real-world ways in which communities employed control and containment to regulate female sexuality.

Fairy belief gave voice to the dangers that confronted women during pregnancy and birth. Similar views pervaded Ireland centuries later, where the deaths of women and children during and after childbirth sometimes were categorized as fairy abductions Her face swells, and after she gives birth, she dies. She does so while pregnant, which puts her unborn child and thus the family lineage in peril.

Irish legends and narratives thus constituted part of a complex system of coded language and hidden meaning, and they affirmed clear and strict gender boundaries They also required women to control their bodies and move within the landscape in socially sanctioned ways even as they expressed fears that the female body was not so easily harnessed. The media's portrayal of women affects women's portrayal of themselves. It leads to more body image problems, especially with younger girls.

Do you really think that's how it works? In the 50s more fuller women were shown in media. But obesity rates in men and women were not significantly different from today. And you're saying that these ideals in media are made by women Several men are part of it. This is a fucking sexist stereotype. Most women I know don't read gossip magazines. Besides advertisements are everywhere not just in magazines: billboards, television, etc.

And men and women both watch porn, there is no need to make our advertisements into porn though. Women are three times more likely to be sexualized in the media than men. And who are you to tell everyone what ALL women like in a man?

I'm sure people are able to decide for themselves. Men are less likely to be sexualized and women are more likely to be insecure And no, feminist arguments exist because the world is still a shit place for women.

And people are going against the fashion industry K,i agree with you. You almost think if the media only tries to reflect the image of the opposite body-types of its time. When interviewed,the person would give a rate to some photos of women,divided between skinny and a more "massive" i forgot the proper term ones. Note that this part of students that were entering the restaurant reported being hungry. So,the interesting part is that who was just walking out tended to prefer skinny women,and the other part,the contrary.

So,it seems that even our beauty standards,wich was tought to be relatively stable over a period of time,can be "adjusted" to a basic and diary need such as satiety. When "anal" is the new "oral", you're trying to tell me that the porn industry isn't affecting how men and women are relating to each other? Men who watch porn want a very different sexual relationship than a man who hasn't seen porn.

Porn sex doesn't get a woman off no matter how much she moans [like is expected]. I agree with Breno. I'd also add that, in the U. Our culture is one that is based on Eve being the downfall of man and all women since then are responsible. First of all, we live in a competitive world.

Both men and women will always try their best to look as attractive as possible in order to attract the best mate possible. We currently do not live in a gender equal society, which is why a woman's value leans more toward her physical attractiveness and a man's value leans more toward his earning capability. Let's assume we have a gender equal society- both genders work equally throughout all stages of life, both are earning the same amount, both are sexualized in the media to the same degree.

If all things are equal, who will raise your kids? Your kids will spend time with the TV, baby sitters, school and friends. This is where your kids will learn their values. Maybe you believe you or your spouse has better values to teach your kids than these other sources, so one of you stays home to raise the kids while the other one works.

If one person stays home then it might as well be the mother since she will be out of commission giving birth anyway. In either scenario it seems like we have a similar outcome. In the first scenario the kid will learn that women are supposed to be sexy and their value is based on their appearance as dictated by mass media and society at large.

In the second scenario the kid will learn that women are supposed to have and take care of the kids, the home and their value is based on these contributions. After a few generations of kids with good values infiltrating the workforce I think we'll see some change. By the way, have you ever met a home schooled kid and seen how amazing they are? Great manners, happy, and smart as can be!

Adding onto this article, I'd like to recommend checking out the website www. Here, you can read more about how to take action and help women and children create a positive body image.

Let's take more action since that does more than reading! Actually every man I've ever met actually prefers th "curvy" or "overweight" women, but the way you displayed the men in your atricle makes it seem like all men are the same as well as dogs.

I've been in a steady relationship for 2 years and hes only kissed 1 other girl, i didnt know untill HE told me, he felt gi;ty about it too. So im not saying you shouldnt post, but just post stuff that supports both sides of a story and something you are an expert on.

Be careful Catherine. You stated your words in this article in a precise way that I can't disagree with. However, be sure to make the distinction between objectification and sexualization. Objectification, or lose of human's agency, is never good.

On the flip side, Sexualization is an intrinsic part of humanity and how we procreate. If involving consenting adults, there is nothing wrong with men and women sexualizing each other. These two words are often misused and confuse people about the morality of it all.

At least since the industrial build up to WWI, women have had the means by which to support themselves economically. Granted, parity with male income took a long time to achieve, and the right to maintain their own credit outside the permission of their husbands was among the last things women gained for themselves.

I recall having to sign a permission slip so that my wife could have a credit card in her own name. But they have achieved certain economic rights, and the respect they once showed men out of economic need has dried up. I do NOT advocate a return to this exploitation. Even though I am male, I am not about to defend the honor of men because of the lack of respect women show them.

For since I am not an alpha, I have been subjected to their arrogant abuse and feel they have not earned respect from anyone just because they are bullying jerks.

But the disrespect I have received from women just because I am male weakens my support for rectifying their issues. I still want them to be able to support themselves and free themselves from having to prostitute themselves in trade for room and board, but I am not about to accept the misimpression that there are no good men and we owe women dates and marriage, not when we men can do nothing right in their view - especially not even dating them in the manner to which they feel entitled.

The respect necessary for women to be dated and married by men isn't there. Women tend to express attitudes and beliefs about men that cause respect to lessen, not grow.

They aren't doing anything to earn the respect of men to receive these gifts. These are NOT obligations of due. So, to overcome the resistance of men to their advances, women end up resorting to sexual enticement.

Admittedly, that works very well. And, since such actions have worked well for decades, the knowledge of how to apply such enticement is passed from mother to daughter to give the daughter a means to make the mother a grandmother.

This will continue until no man can be taken down in this manner. Increasingly, there are signs that this time is coming - and women don't like it one bit. To do anything about this diminution in the imbalance of gender power favoring women would mean that women generally would have to become much more honest than they currently are in the conduct of intergender relations.

Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. The Power of Boundaries Sharing personal information brings people closer together. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. The Upside of Eating Together. How to Overcome Regret. The Sexualization of Women and Girls What's the big deal? References Book suggestions for those interested in learning more about these topics: Kilbourne, J.

Objectifying the objectification of women Submitted by Martian Bachelor on March 4, - pm. The challenge with this view Submitted by adam on March 4, - pm.

It's a sad day when a post forces me to agree with Martian, but this one has done it. How about a little respect for women's choices?

I suppose women's autonomy of Submitted by adam on March 4, - pm. Just because paternalistic Submitted by Anonymous on September 27, - pm. How simple-minded not to Submitted by C.

I wouldn't rely upon your appearance for tips, C! Submitted by Neo on October 13, - pm. If the ultimate power women Submitted by c. The image was centered on the screen and had a size of x Pixels.

We defined areas of interest AOI per stimulus covering the head, the breast and the pubic region of the depicted persons to analyze whether fixating one of these regions was essential for the decision. For the breast and pubic region, the AOIs were rectangular and both had the same size within one picture.

Between pictures the sizes ranged from to pixels in width and 90 to pixels in height. Fixation reports provided by the eye tracker company were filtered using Matlab version Rb to derive fixations.

The analyses were focused on three AOIs of the first presented picture in the task. Fixations within the AOIs were analyzed along the main factors i. Given the exploratory nature of the eye-tracking paradigm due to the very short presentation time , a two-steps analysis approach was chosen.

First, in order to check the validity of our procedure, an analysis of the eye movements MF and NF of the upright images was performed. This allowed us to compare our results with the existing literature so far available [ 37 , 38 , 46 ].

Next, given the complexity of the model, and because our main goal was to compare the size of the inversion effect between the different conditions objectified, personalized , a second analysis was performed on the complete set of images, separately for each gender of the picture male and female.

Individual accuracy in the matching task was analyzed with the same settings described in Experiment 1 and 2, using a generalized linear mixed effect model glmer R package with an independent random intercept for every subject and with condition sexualized, personalized , orientation upright, inverted , gender of the picture male, female and gender of the participant male, female as fixed effects. This results in the exclusion of 8 out of the 60 participants.

Given the complexity of the model, we run a glmer model containing only the orientation as the main effect and the participants as random effect, separately for each condition of each gender of the picture subset.

We rely on 1 tailed test as the direction of the expected effect, namely a significant inversion effect for the female personalized images, was already expected on the basis of results of Experiment 1 and 2. Analyses 1 tailed revealed that in the personalized condition female pictures were better recognized in the upright than the inverted orientation glmer estimated accuracy for upright vs.

As for the sexualized condition, female pictures glmer estimated accuracy for upright vs. Mean and SE values of the proportion of accuracy as a function of the gender of the picture male, female , and the condition sexualized, personalized. See S1 File for an additional analysis on the moderating role of the asymmetry in this dataset. A mixed-model ANOVA with the within-subject factors: condition sexualized, personalized , gender of the picture male, female , and the between-subject factor: gender of the participant male, female was carried out on the eye movement data MF and NF separately for each AOI see Fig 6 in the main text and Table F and Table G in S1 File.

Mean and SD values of the Mean fixation duration Panel A, B, C and the Number of fixation Panel D, E, F split by gender of the participant female, male , gender of the picture female, male , condition sexualized, personalized and orientation up and down , are reported separately for each AOI. In order to reduce the complexity of the model, a mixed-model ANOVA with the within subject factors: condition sexualized, personalized , orientation upright, inverted , and between subject factor gender of the participant male, female was carried out on the eye movement data MF and NF separately for each AOI and for each gender of the picture but see S1 File for the complete model see Fig 6 in the main text and Table F and Table G in S1 File.

So far, no clear conclusion could be drawn regarding the nature of the processes involved in the perception of sexualized women according to sexual objectification theory see [ 11 , 12 , 22 , 24 , 25 , 29 ]. In particular, we observed a difference in the visual exploration of the stimuli according to the degree of sexualization of the images, as reflected in reduced exploration of the face region only in inverted personalized stimuli compared to the upright ones, with the corresponding presence of inversion effect.

More importantly, we were able to show that the inversion effect is moderated and not mediated by the visual properties of the stimuli, namely the degree to which the stimuli differ in terms of asymmetry. Only when asymmetry is low, the category of the stimuli sexualized vs.

Finally we observed that the level of sexualization impacts the occurrence of the SBIE, similarly for both genders. The first step of our study was to establish the presence of the SBIE i.

This allowed showing that the SBIH is supported when stimuli are not controlled for visual properties, such as asymmetry. In line with the previous literature [ 22 ], in Experiments 1 and 2 we observed that the recognition of personalized women is worse in the inverted compared to the upright orientation indicating the presence of an inversion effect , whereas sexualized women were recognized to a similar extent in both the upright and inverted orientation, thus suggesting that the level of sexualization has an impact on the occurrence of the SBIE.

In addition to Bernard et al. As a second step, we tested the assumption that if sexualized targets lack an inversion effect, they should also be processed as objects. To this aim, in Experiments 1 and 2 we also estimated to which extent the analytical processing style is applied to different types of objects. We observed that participants were less accurate in processing human body-like objects such as mannequins in the inverted than in the upright orientation.

These results indicate that the classification of a stimulus as an object is not a sufficient condition for the absence of an inversion effect see also Tarr [ 21 , 47 ]. In fact, human body-like objects, such as mannequins, show the facilitation for upright compared to inverted orientation. This suggests that other features, a part from the semantic category human vs. The inversion effect has been taken as an indirect indicator of configural processing in a variety of studies adopting quite heterogeneous stimuli and tasks [ 10 , 14 — 19 ].

However, while a drop of accuracy recognition of inverted full body stimuli has been consistently found [ 26 , 49 — 55 ], results are mixed for headless bodies [ 51 , 54 , 56 , 57 ].

A huge uncertainty still exists on the mechanism underling the occurrence of the inversion effect in bodies, and two plausible explanations have been put forward so far. Beside the state of the art, the present work does not provide any additional information on the validity of one of the two hypotheses; therefore these two theories still leave an open debate on which mechanism can account for the inversion effect.

First, the pretest revealed that personalized women were perceived as more familiar than sexualized women and mannequins, thus putting forward the idea that our findings could have been driven by differences in stimulus-familiarity of the targets. However, since mannequins which are unfamiliar to participants showed the same pattern of result as personalized women, this hypothesis should be discarded.

Second, in order to ascertain that findings of Experiments 1 and 2 could be due to the different degree of asymmetry observed between conditions, a mediational analysis was performed for both experiments. Results showed the absence of a mediating role of asymmetry in shaping the SBIE: the difference in recognition of the targets in the two orientations was not driven by the stimulus asymmetry.

However mediational analyses are not sufficient to establish a clear role of the asymmetry in shaping the inversion effect. In order to test the moderating role of stimulus symmetry, this stimulus feature was systematically varied in Experiment 3.

This allowed to further assess the boundary conditions of the SBIE. Results revealed that highly asymmetrical stimuli were equally well recognized in the two orientations regardless of the condition. More importantly, the effect of the condition was evident at low level of asymmetry, indicating the presence of the inversion effect for personalized but not for sexualized images.

Therefore, visual properties strongly influence stimulus recognition by facilitating visual matching for high asymmetrical stimuli. Experiment 4 was subsequently performed with a new set of stimuli matched for asymmetry.

Results confirmed the findings of Experiment 3 as indicated by the presence of the inversion effect only for pictures in the personalized condition while pictures in the sexualized condition were recognized equally well in the upright and inverted orientation.

Importantly, in line with recent neural evidences [ 29 ], the results also indicate that it is indeed the sexualized nature and not the gender of the stimulus that triggers the different processing style, given that the effect was found for both sexualized women and men. Note thought that the inversion effect felt short of significant in the personalized male sample, somehow dampening the conclusion of a clear effect of the level of sexualization on the SBIH for the male gender.

More studies are needed to replicate these findings. Since stimulus symmetry in Experiment 4 was manipulated similarly to Schmidt and colleagues, the discrepancy between the two studies may be due to differences in experimental stimuli. While Schmidt and colleagues used pictures of women and men that were fully naked, we instead employed pictures of men and women in underwear or bikini.

It is possible that naked stimuli do not trigger the same sexualized perception of the target, with the concomitant analytic processing style and the SBIE, as the stimuli used here. The very specific difference between naked stimuli and bodies wearing underwear still has to be established in future research. A second possible explanation may relate to the postures adopted by the different stimuli used, independently from asymmetry.

Different postures can convey specific meanings that affect the perception of the body, leading to the sexualization of the target. Future studies should systematically address this point in order to clarify the role of body posture in the emergence of the SBIE. Finally, the use of an eye-tracker in Experiment 4 allowed us to measure how pictures were inspected in all the conditions, and to assess the role of attention biases in the occurrence of the SBIE.

Even if fast saccades have been previously reported [ 40 ], to our knowledge this is the first study using short exposure times in combination with an eye tracking device. Therefore, in order to check the validity of our data, a first analysis was performed on the upward images, in order to allow for the comparison with the previous literature. In line with the work by Nummenmaa [ 37 ], we observed that people tend to focus in terms of both duration and number of fixations more on the face region of the personalized pictures in comparison to sexualized pictures, suggesting that the sexualized representation of a target shifts the focus of attention away from the face.

Moreover, the male facial region was fixated more times than the female one indicating that the shift of attention towards the face is a phenomenon that is more present when exploring male targets. In line with this, we also observed a stronger focus on the breast region for female compared to male images. Interestingly, our data indicate longer duration and higher number of fixations on the breast of personalized compared to objectified targets.

This, in combination with the very short time window ms , may have led to the tendency to gaze longer at the center of the personalized image, before moving the eyes. Note though that the personalized condition was still characterized by a higher number and a longer duration of fixations to the Face AOI, indicating that the two AOIs did not cancel each other out. Finally, the absence of saccades to the pelvic region indicates that with this short stimulus presentation time participants mostly shifted their focus of attention from the center breast to the upper zone face of the images.

As a second step, we analyzed the eye-tracker data separately for female and male images both for inverted and upward images. This allowed us to explore the effect of sexualization on the inversion effect. An effect of orientation was found, in that compared to the inverted pictures upright female and male pictures were fixated longer and more frequently in the face region.

Inverted images were longer and more frequently fixated in the breast and pelvic region. A main effect of condition was found for both, male and female pictures, indicating that the face and breast of the personalized targets were fixated longer and more frequently for the faces only than those of the sexualized ones.

A crucial condition by orientation effect was found, indicating that pictures of both sexes were fixated longer in the face AOI in the personalized compared to the sexualized condition but only when presented upright. Taken together, the data suggest that differences in visual exploration of the stimuli indicate a mechanism responsible for the difference in the occurrence of the inversion effect.

Namely, the shift of attention from the face to other parts of the body possibly disrupts the configural processing otherwise applied to the perception of the personalized targets. Despite the attempt to control the present set of stimuli for visual properties such as asymmetry, we are aware that additional perceptual factors, which were not controlled in this study, could contribute to the occurrence of the SBIE. For example, as highlighted by Tarr [ 21 ], differences between conditions in postures, in the colors and types of clothes could influence the occurrence and the magnitude of the SBIE.

This choice was made in order to have a high level of ecological validity of the stimuli used. However, this was done at the expenses of possible uncontrolled perceptual differences between the different conditions.

Thus, despite the accurate investigation of the asymmetries of the images adopted in every dataset, the presence of those perceptual confounds i. Future studies are needed to clarify the conditions under which the phenomenon occurs or not.

Finally, we would like to highlight that the brief stimulus presentation, necessary to detect the SBIE, has never been used in combination with eye-tracking.

Even if the results are in line with our hypothesis and with previous findings, future studies should explore if this pattern generally persist with longer exploration times.

We also observed that the level of asymmetry of the pictures accounts for some of the variability in the occurrence of the inversion effect, but does not undermine the SBIH. Finally, sexualized pictures are visually explored with a different strategy as indicated by lower number of fixations in the face region compared to the personalized pictures.

These differences in the visual exploration of the stimulus may therefore translate in the SBIE by triggering a different processing style analytical vs.

In conclusion, the findings of the present study contribute to the ongoing debate by tipping the balance in favour of the SBIH. The SBIE indeed cannot be simply reduced to a methodological artefact, given that the sexualization of the target is able to trigger an analytical processing style, on top of a moderating effect of by the stimulus asymmetry. Our results also suggest that future studies should address other possible conditions under which this phenomenon appears, by considering both the visual properties of the stimuli i.

We thank Sebastian Korb for his assistance in data analysis and precious comments on the manuscript. C and G. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. PLoS One. Published online Apr 5.

Alessio Avenanti, Editor. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Received Jun 19; Accepted Feb This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. S2 File: Experiment 1 data. S3 File: Experiment 2 data. S4 File: Experiment 3 data. S5 File: Experiment 4 data. Introduction The idea that women and men can be treated like objects, as a function of their sexual attributes, has increasingly attracted attention of the public at large[ 1 ], especially because of the important implications at a societal level [ 2 , 3 ].

Testing the core assumption of the SBIH The core assumption of the SBIH is that sexualized women and objects are processed in a similar analytical manner, as indicated by an absence of the inversion effect. On the mediating and moderating role of stimulus asymmetry in the SBIE As highlighted by Tarr [ 21 ], properties of visual stimuli such as asymmetry can play an important role in modulating the inversion effect.

The role of the focus of attention in shaping the SBIE The SBIH claims different recognition strategies analytical and configural adopted for each class of stimuli women vs. Experiment 1—2 Experiments 1 and 2 were performed with the same stimuli and procedure but in a between and within—subject fashion, respectively. Procedure Participants took part in a picture recognition task with a similar procedure as in Bernard at al. Open in a separate window. Fig 1. Exemplar target stimuli.

Analysis of the stimuli asymmetry Following the procedure of Schmidt and Kistemaker [ 22 ], we focused on the angles of four body-axes measured for the three conditions personalized, sexualized and mannequin : shoulders, elbows, hands and hips. Results Accuracy Following Knoblauch and Maloney [ 44 ], individual standardized values of matching accuracy were analyzed encoding individual responses as a binary variable in terms of correct 1 —incorrect 0 matchings and sending the whole pattern of binary responses to a generalized linear mixed effect model glmer with a probit link function.

Fig 2. Mediation analysis on the asymmetry index In order to corroborate the results from the glmer and to test whether the SBIE was mainly driven by the different asymmetry of stimuli belonging to different conditions house, mannequin, sexualized or personalized a causal mediation analysis was performed. Stimuli Pictures used in Experiment 3 were collected from the same sources as in the other experiments.

Results Accuracy Individual accuracy in the matching task was analyzed with the same statistical technique described in Experiment 1 and 2. Fig 3. Experiment 4 In order to test the generalizability of the findings of Experiment 1 and 2 to both gender, we run Experiment 4 with a new dataset of stimuli extended to include also sexualized and personalized male pictures.

Stimuli Participants were engaged in the same task described in Experiment 2. Fig 4. Analysis of the asymmetries of the stimuli A 2 condition sexualized, personalized x 2 gender of the picture male, female ANOVA was carried out on the Average Axes values mean of the eyes, shoulders, elbows, hands and hips axes.

Eye movement data analysis We defined areas of interest AOI per stimulus covering the head, the breast and the pubic region of the depicted persons to analyze whether fixating one of these regions was essential for the decision. Results Accuracy Individual accuracy in the matching task was analyzed with the same settings described in Experiment 1 and 2, using a generalized linear mixed effect model glmer R package with an independent random intercept for every subject and with condition sexualized, personalized , orientation upright, inverted , gender of the picture male, female and gender of the participant male, female as fixed effects.

Fig 5. Eye movement data Preliminary analysis A mixed-model ANOVA with the within-subject factors: condition sexualized, personalized , gender of the picture male, female , and the between-subject factor: gender of the participant male, female was carried out on the eye movement data MF and NF separately for each AOI see Fig 6 in the main text and Table F and Table G in S1 File.

Fig 6. Mean fixation duration and mean number of fixation. Analysis of the inversion effect In order to reduce the complexity of the model, a mixed-model ANOVA with the within subject factors: condition sexualized, personalized , orientation upright, inverted , and between subject factor gender of the participant male, female was carried out on the eye movement data MF and NF separately for each AOI and for each gender of the picture but see S1 File for the complete model see Fig 6 in the main text and Table F and Table G in S1 File.

Discussion So far, no clear conclusion could be drawn regarding the nature of the processes involved in the perception of sexualized women according to sexual objectification theory see [ 11 , 12 , 22 , 24 , 25 , 29 ].

Conceptual replication of the sexualized-body inversion effect The first step of our study was to establish the presence of the SBIE i.

The inversion effect as an indicator of sexualized stimuli processing style As a second step, we tested the assumption that if sexualized targets lack an inversion effect, they should also be processed as objects. The role of attention biases on the occurrence of the SBIE Finally, the use of an eye-tracker in Experiment 4 allowed us to measure how pictures were inspected in all the conditions, and to assess the role of attention biases in the occurrence of the SBIE.