So, you know how you can't help but get a little bit miffed whenever you catch your man checking out another woman's breasts? (Even if he thinks he's being subtle? Because he's soooo not.) Well, according to a recent study, we really have nothing to get upset about. No, not because we're "imagining things" or because it's "just what guys do" and "isn't a big deal," but because apparently we ladies are just as likely to stare at boobs.
Researchers who examined the way different people process images of men and women found that men's bodies are usually processed in a "global" way (meaning that we judge a man as the sum of his parts, basically), while women's bodies are assessed by what's called "local" cognitive processing (meaning we judge each of a woman's parts separately).
Interesting. So guys are programmed to fixate on boobs AND girls are programmed to fixate on boobs?
I guess I can buy that. And it makes sense that guys and girls would fixate on boobs for different reasons, as researchers suggest. But I'm NOT so sure I agree with those particular theoretical reasons.
The study's lead author, Sarah Gervais, explains the supposed gender-specific motivations thusly:
"Men might be doing it because they're interested in potential mates, while women may do it as more of a comparison with themselves. But what we do know is that they're both doing it."
"We can't just pin this on the men. Women are perceiving women this way, too."
Okay, two things: First of all, OBVIOUSLY men are checking out women's boobs because they're "interested in potential mates" -- that's exactly why their current mates get pissed off about it! Second of all, I find the idea of women going around gawking at other women's cleavage to see if they themselves "measure up" flat-out insulting. Believe it or not, Sarah Gervais, most women I know are way too preoccupied with matters of actual importance (such as work, kids, money, health) to waste any time or brain space playing "who's got better boobs" all day long.
In short, YES, we can pin this on men. Because even if women do stare at boobs, we haven't figured out why just yet. Men? As for men? We figured out why men stare at boobs ... hell, before we invented the wheel, most likely.
And you know what? Men can just sleep on the couch for all we care. Here's your pillow, dirtbag! Go and dream about your potential mate all night long.
Do you think women stare at boobs as much as men?
Image via Dan Stewart/Flickr