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Men More Likely Than Women To First Look at Face in Porn Films

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Tuesday
Aug242010

Men More Likely Than Women To First Look at Face in Porn Films

Tuuli Tastic by British photographer RankinA study funded by the Atlanta-based Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN) suggests that the stereotypes about men and porn are erroneous.

The expectation among researchers was that men would be immediately focused on genitals, but the results disputed this popular 'knowledge' about men's behavior. In reality, men were more likely than women to first look at a woman's face before other parts of the body.

Women focused longer on photographs of men performing sexual acts with women than did the males. Technology allowed researchers to disregard what women say about watching pornography, and zero in on our actual behavior.

The finding, reported in Hormones and Behavior, confirmed the hypothesis of a previous study (Stephen Hamann and Kim Wallen, et al., 2004) that reported men and women showed different patterns of brain activity when viewing sexual stimuli. The present study examined sex differences in attention by employing eye-tracking technology that pinpoints individual attention to different elements of each picture such as the face or body parts. via Science 2.0

The eye-tracking device also suggested that women's hormonal state affected their behavioral patterns.

"Women using hormonal contraceptives looked more at the genitals, while women who were not using hormonal contraceptives paid more attention to contextual elements of the photographs," said lead author Heather Rupp, Ph.D., a fellow at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University, who conducted the study in partnership with Kim Wallen, Ph.D., a Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroendocrinology at Emory University and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Scientists aren't clear why the genders exhibit different behavior, and in particular why men looked more at the faces of women. The answers may lie in activating the amygdala section of the brain, the source of emotional activity.

We're not scientists at Sensuality News, but we know anecdotally that men continually say that sexual activity is key source of expressing emotion and love. Women tend to compartmentalize sex as a necessary part of reproduction or a generally "icky, undesirable" activity that men need, because they are lower beings, compared to women.

If women understood that sexual union is a core platform by which men express love for women, the prioritiy of sexual activity in our lives just might get a boost on the respectability totem pole. We believe that religion has done much to discredit carnal communication as an expression of love between people.

The Hard Sel by British photographer RankinBottom line, when the subject is women and pornography, this is just one more scientific study confirming that women talk out of both sides of our mouths, with the subject is erotica. It's almost amusing that men spent more time looking at faces than women on birth-control.

That finding leads us to wonder if birth control actually depresses sexual desire, as alleged, or if it depresses intimate connections. Perhaps women on hormonal birth control are the biggest candidates for porn.

Remember that women watch porn in far greater numbers than they will ever admit. Just as studies of IP addresses have confirmed that Conservatives watch more porn than Liberals, we know that women are large consumers of porn (about one-third on current estimates) even though we swear "no, no, no". All photos from British photographer Rankin.

British photographer Rankin

Reader Comments (4)

My reflex response before even reading your entire article, (which is great as usual), was that woman are "sizing up" other women. Women have a need to size each other up. We really do focus and obsess about our "competition" more than necessary a lot of times. We immediately compare details of a woman to ourselves, especially our most insecure aspects of ourselves. This has me wondering if this can be another reason why Labiaplasty, (or Labioplasty), is becoming more popular. Just a hunch. But this takes us back to former discussions on the media and its influences on women. Its up to us to determine how much we allow outside influences to affect our self image.

Sorry, this was not the focus of your article, but it was where my mind went as I read it. I can really only speak for myself though and what I think if I see pornography or other women in general and then, how I process that information...

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMicah Tutay

This both fascinates and confirms. Thank you!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Mitchell

Micah, no worry about getting off track. Your thoughts about the competitive nature of women in this context are very interesting. I hadn't considered this idea at all, being more focused on the established fact that women lie like crazy in focus groups and now we get busted by technology. And we all know that women repress our sensuality -- and often for good reason. You have added an interesting ingredient to the discussion mix.

As an aside, here's some thoughts on your reconstructive surgery. Anne

http://www.anneofcarversville.com/body-politics/female-deception-vagina-or-vajayjay.html

August 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterEditor

My theory on why we males look at the face first is that, in life, we want not just sex, but an emotional attachment as well; and if the face of a potential lover is not pleasing to us, the rest of the body is not going to matter much, long term. This instinct carries over even to unattainable women, whether on film or otherwise.

March 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterA. Male

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