Feminine Things Make You Look More Womanly, Right?
Look at the images below and then look at the faces. When does the feminine face turn masculine?
Now look at these images and then look the faces. Once again, when does the feminine face turn masculine?
You’d think that feminine things would make women look more womanly. And maybe they do in some contexts. But when researchers asked people to look at gendered objects like those above, and then judge how masculine or feminine each face appeared, the results were counter-intuitive.
Researchers found that people who looked at feminine objects thought the faces seemed more masculine, and vice versa when masculine objects appeared. Just like me.
The researchers say this happens as an “adaptation effect,” which Lisa Wade over at Sociological Images describes as,
a neurological phenomenon in which “looking at something for a long time makes you more likely to see its opposite” (source). For example if you look at a white screen after looking at a red one for a while, the white screen will appear green (red’s opposite). Or, if you look at lines moving right for a while and then look at static lines, they will appear to move left.
Apparently, our brains see both people and things as gendered — and those genders are “opposite.” But as Dr. Wade points out, “We are ‘opposite sexes,’ then, but only in our minds.”
Source: Sociological Images
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