We Stare at Breasts as Much as Men Do

Say What!? 18

cleavageSo, 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

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Knife Knife

Yep. Some women can be very superficial, so I think it's safe to say that they check out other women to compare those women to themselves. It's an instinctual thing.

There's no way in hell that woman oogle breasts just as much as guys do... guys constantly do it. Practically every woman they see. Honestly..

nonmember avatar Mike M

As I see it women compare themselves to other women as that is likely to result in them doing things that should result in them becoming more attractive to men (though it could just result in feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, low self-esteem, and a desire to put down other women so that she feels better about herself as evolution is not concerned about our feelings, happiness, or our ethical views about how we ought to behave towards others; what leads to the greatest proliferation of our DNA [and DNA that is similar to ours] is evolutionarily important). When a man finds a woman who has put the effort into making herself become more attractive (e.g., physical and sexual health, clothes, makeup, behavior, etc.) than other women he will (evolutionarily or statistically speaking, not necessarily in all cases) be more likely to become her mate, and thus her DNA will likely become more prolific.

And remember that scientific studies such as this focus more on the trends that can be measured among large groups of people rather than the wide variances that exist in the human population. As such it's best not to assume that they are describing you and your friends personalty, just men and women in general.

nonmember avatar HS

Guilty! I don't stare per se but I will notice. It's mostly when ones are significantly different from mine. It's not a competition, but more of an observation. I'm sure it has its roots in some sort of primal way but it's so fleeting and random that I've never really thought about what I'm doing lol. I'm sure men do it for the same reasons though, not just for potential mates but curiosity or maybe they're particularly large or perky or what have you. No biggie.

nonmember avatar NoWay

Heck, I'm a straight woman, but I can appreciate a nice set of boobs. :)

Misty... Misty.Dawn

lol i dont know a single woman among my friends who stare at other womens breasts as much as men do. (aside from the ones who would rather see a womans chest that a mans lol not saying they arent out there, i just dont know of any) the only time i will look is when a womans shirt is too small/low cut for her chest & you cant help but notice! I see no point in playing "who has better boobs" bcus mine arent gonna change even if i think someone else has better ones than me. My boyfriend on the other hand, he will stare all day long. & now he hides behind the fact that he cant see (his glasses are broken & he wont go get another pair). I understand men are gonna look. Its like, built in them or something. But to oogle other women & it be very obvious thats what youre doing, (especially when im with him) is VERY disrespectful to me. It took me a few years but hes definitely not as bad as he was at first :)

the4m... the4mutts

I stare, and do it for the same reason men do.

I don't just look at boobs either. I'll check a womans rear, waistline, hair, smile, etc. And I do them 1 at a time, just like the study says.

The only thing that doesn't apply to me personally, is staring at men as a "whole package". I pick parts just like I do when I'm oogling hot women.

My SO doesn't mind at all that I'm bisexual, and we check out women together on a regular basis.

nonmember avatar TheTruth

I'm getting along in age and have seen much of what this crazy world is all about. I can honestly tell you that, contrary to what so many people (esp women) think or like to believe, that yes, women do stare are breasts MORE than men do. I know that is not politically correct to say it, but IT IS THE TRUTH.

Todd Vrancic

It's a generalization.  Some women may stare.  Some men stare.  So what?

the4m... the4mutts

Todd- yah its not a b.f.d. really. I DID find it interresting to read about HOW we stare @ men & women differently as a whole. I never noticed how I compartmentalize like that. Boobs? Check. Rump? Check. Belly? Check. Smile? Omfg! Run for the hills!! Its godzilla!

Hahaim picky about smiles ;)

jharr... jharris109

I like boobs too! I don't look at them to compare to myself but if I see a nice looking woman I'm probably going to check out her rack. Other times the first thing you see is a woman's chest and you just can't help but look!

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