Nude Men Seem Less Intelligent
The more skin women reveal, the less men see them as intelligent or empowered. Instead, nudity promotes the notion that women are sensitive, “feeling” creatures.
Turns out the perception runs both ways with women seeing men as less intelligent and less competent when they show skin, too. In fact, simply “taking off a sweater — or otherwise revealing flesh — can significantly change the way a mind is perceived” say researchers.
And as psychologist, Kurt Gray of the University of Maryland observed:
This effect can happen even without the removal of clothes. Simply focusing on someone’s attractiveness, in essence concentrating on their body rather than their mind, makes you see her or him as less of an (empowered) agent and more of an experiencer.
Women see partially-clothed men as more sensitive, too, and are disinclined to hurt them. Likewise, most men don’t want to harm unclothed women, either. Perhaps nakedness makes people seem more vulnerable so that we want to protect them.
Interesting. There’s no evidence that showing skin makes men want to rape, and it looks like the opposite effect is more likely. (Of course, some sexual fetishes do combine nudity and violence so the effect isn’t uniform, but that still doesn’t mean nudity causes a person to want to harm.)
Practical take-away? Showing skin can make us seem less competent at work. But it can be great in the bedroom, where it’s all about feeling.
Posted on February 15, 2012, in body image, feminism, gender, men, objectification, psychology, sex, sexism, women and tagged body image, feminism, gender, men, objectification, psychology, sex, sexism, women. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.