Scientist reveals what men REALLY think of when they look at a girlie calendar
By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 5:37 PM on 17th February 2009
Sexy calendars and pictures of topless models in tabloid newspapers really do lead men to think of women as objects, research shows.
When men are shown images of women in bikinis, the part of the brain they use when thinking about DIY tools and other objects lights up.
At the same time, the region they use to try to tune into another person's thoughts and feelings tunes down, brain scans showed.
You don't say: Sexy calendars in the workplace make it more likely that men look at women as objects
Researcher Susan Fiske said: 'The only other time we have seen this is when people look at pictures of the homeless or of drug addicts because they really don't want to think about what is going on in their minds.'
Her experiments also found, perhaps not surprisingly, that men remember the images of scantily-clad women better than those of fully-clothed women.
Overall, the experiments showed that sexy images lead men to think of women as 'less than human', the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual conference heard.
Professor Fiske, of Princeton University in the U.S., said the effect could spill over into the workplace, with girlie calendars leading men to sexualise their colleagues.
She said: 'I am not saying there should be censorship but people need to know of the associations people have in their minds.'
Asked if women were likely to view half-dressed men in the same way, she said that women tended to rate age and bank balance over looks.