Men Looking at Partially-Clothed Men
How do men feel about male nudity in media?
In the past I’ve written about men’s reactions, which you can see here and here.
They felt pretty uncomfortable.
But what if they wear more clothing — masculine jeans and no shirt?
A hot man with more clothing
I surveyed 40 straight men on this still shot from Magic Mike, which I called “Channing Tatum shirtless,” depicting well-built men in jeans, sans shirts.
With less skin revealed, the image is probably more “masculine” and more commonly seen than the nearly nude men I has surveyed the men on earlier.
Not surprisingly, men felt more comfortable with this than with nudity. But one in five still didn’t like it, felt uncomfortable, or said it was objectifying.
After what they had just been through (naked stripper and naked Sly Stallone) only 12% made the effort to say something like:
- I’m not attracted. I am straight.
- I’m not into dudes
- I don’t look at male figures in any other way then as a “bro”
But one man said “it looks gay” and another called it homoerotic.
He’s muscular, looks good, wish I looked like him
Most men– 60% – said he looked “good,” muscular, were envious of his build, or felt like they needed to work out more.
Breaking it down, 43% had positive commentary: he looks good, muscular, I want to look like him.
But 17% said the photo made them feel bad about their own bodies.
Only 14% said the image made them feel “nothing… neutral… indifferent.”
Man in motion: Diet Coke’s Sexy Gardener
Some of my blog readers wondered if a “man in motion” makes a difference over a still shot. So I showed students Diet Coke’s sexy Gardener.
I added this question late so I have fewer responses on this one — a pretty small sample at 24. But here’s what they thought, for what it’s worth.
Seventeen percent disliked it or found it objectifying (equally divided on which).
Only two made a point of saying that they were “not attracted.”
More than one-third had something positive to say: They liked it, thought it was funny, thought he had a great body.
And it only made one of them feel like he needed to work out more.
The rest — one third — said they felt nothing, neutral, indifferent, or remarked that it felt normal.
Generally, they liked it more and were less offended. Why?
Maybe because he was walking around and seemed less like an object?
Or maybe they felt more comfortable because he is clearly the “object of desire” for women — so they were less likely to see it as a come-on to them?
Posted on February 18, 2019, in body image, men, objectification, psychology, sex and sexuality and tagged Channing Tatum, How men feel about sexy images of men, Magic Mike, Sylvester Stallone. Bookmark the permalink. 76 Comments.
This post is a bit surprising to me since I expected men to find looking at partially-clothed men to be more uncomfortable than looking at a fully nude man. I thought because men are very frequently looking at the nude male body (like in the mirror for example, or in the changing rooms) they would be less “disturbed” by what they see. What’s more, a man wearing only pants is usually seen as more sexualized in the media, in a way “teasing” the audience with what they can’t see.
Then again, I can see why men would find the partially-clothed male to be less uncomfortable to look at because seeing genitalia, in general, can make people feel on edge.
I am wondering if this is just a U.S. point of view. Men in America are different than men in other countries where you will find them more focused on fashion, body image and the overall taboos that we have here in the U.S. are not an issue in other countries like Italy, Greece and Israel. Women and men in America make comments or make fun of the European man because he displays a feminine quality openly, such as being well-groomed and a well-dressed presentation of self. Most women I know wish that their husbands would take care of their toe nails, manscape to be cleaned up (doesn’t mean gone, but it does mean wild bill armpits, the Adams apple chest hairs and butt cheek fuzz). You would think that with the amount of time men spend in a gym, the amount of fitness magazines and even the men on television these days all have some form of strong physique, men would be more comfortable and numb to the images on a sexual/uncomfortable level. I am no longer shocked at the level of nudity of women that is shown in today’s mainstream entertainment. I used to question why more of a woman’s body was shown more than a man’s body, being older now I can understand that men are not comfortable and this still takes precedent over women feeling objectified and sexualized in the same environment; It is still a male dominated industry and market.
I completely understand the concept of men not feeling good about their body’s because women go through the same thing when we see ads with fitter, trimmer women on them. Both sides are equal in my opinion in levels of exposure, but you can also see that in this commercial above for Diet Coke, the women bait him and then he gets the upper hand. It is still a play at a male dominated role, even if it was set up by women. The way he watches them as he is ringing out his shirt, and the wink when he walks away is a tale of him saying, I have you like putty in my hands.
Here in America sex is still taboo related to where it is placed in society, on television, in advertisements, magazines, music videos etc. Women wear coverings at the beach where as in other countries body parts are not hidden, so they are not a big deal. Men are more comfortable with each other in more intimate spaces such as hot tubs, spas, salons, shopping and so forth. In European countries the line for feminine and masculine is more blurred and tolerated, whereas here men are made fun of for getting a massage, a pedicure, shopping- these are “girl” things. While men across both continents very much still have masculine roles in their day to day life, the way that they self-display is different. Most women want a man who is successful, compassionate, resourceful, strong (in all senses of the word) and confident. Men take this to mean they have to be rugged, independent, successful and macho, this is the American male mentality primary, with women appreciating the rugged man as the secondary. The mentality is different, and I would believe that the self-esteem in European countries are that men are probably higher than those men here in the U.S. There is a spoof off of that diet coke commercial that shows a regular guy, I am curious to see what women and men would say about the guy in this spoof ad. When I watch the original ad with the physically fit man I think of the Hallmark Channel and the idea of him is a myth. I can see how he intimidates other men, he looks good and instead of being secure enough to say that, they resort to categorizing or stereotyping it, “it’s gay”. But the second video provided a different reaction, one where I could see him in the backyard playing with your kids, having fun cooking with you in the kitchen, laughing with you during movies, going on school field trips, doing your taxes as well as being able to perform masculine day to day tasks. Would men relate to him more? Would they still feel uncomfortable? While he does not have the strong physique, he shows a side that is more playful and relatable.
Most things are culturally specific. So I appreciate your considerations of how things might be in Europe. That would be an interesting comparison study.
I found this topic really interesting because it is something that is talked about often. I thought it was mostly interesting to see that men felt insecure about their own bodies after seeing other males that were more in shape, the need to felt to work out more in order to feel confident. I believe that this topic isn’t talked about as much as it should be because of the norm that men “aren’t weak” and they can not show any amount of emotion. However, it is very eye opening to see that they do indeed have the same thoughts as women when they see super models on social media or magazines. I also thought that it was ironic that men felt uncomfortable with men being more nude, because they look for that in pictures of women. If there is a model and she posts a fully dressed picture on social media she won’t get as much likes as she would if she posted a picture wearing a swim suit. So why expect women to do it, but men can’t because it’s “disturbing” to other men?
This has always intrigued me. Men are generally not bombarded with as many magazines and films showing their male counterparts partially clad or in extremely tight clothing, but that does not stop them from feeling bad about their own bodies when they see these images. Eating disorders are on the rise for men, the image they are supposed to aspire to are just as unattainable for many as it is for the women to aspire to be supermodels. The male response to Channing Tatum may have had as much to do with the fact that it isn’t just one hair free, muscular guy in jeans, he is one of three. This gives a very different response to myself as a female, so I imagine that it does for men too. The whole attitude is made to be sexier, it feels naughty.
You differentiated responses that I would have put together and I found that intriguing; “43% had positive commentary: … I want to look like him. But 17% said the photo made them feel bad about their own bodies.”. If I respond that I want to look like someone, I am telling you I do not like me, that has very negative connotations to my mind. The film feels altogether different. The man here feels like a very normal guy doing a ‘manly’ job. The type of job that I am sure those you surveyed feel capable of doing, he has (gasp!) hair, and instead of putting himself forward to be loved and objectified, women sought him out and liked what they saw. The song, the scene and then women’s silence as he stripped is meant to feel sexy, but it also feels attainable and straight. Men can feel comfortable watching this and not like they have to make some kind of claim on their sexuality, equally as a woman I would feel less of a need to explain myself if i was caught watching one over the other.
You make some interesting points. Thanks.
It surprised me that 17% of men found they didn’t like their own bodies. I always believed that men were secure in their own skin regardless of weight or build. Most men you’d think it was more on height or maybe baldness, but I never thought they’d be intimidated by the masculinity of another’s man build. The comments on not being gay were strange to me. Females have no problem talking about body types, comparing them and don’t have the need to proclaim their sexuality. Often times, women are depicted as the jealous/insecure of the sexes. I agree with the notion that the men were less intimidated because of the females in the commercial. Most commercials are about sex because sadly it sells. Check out any Magnum Ice Cream commercial that features Rachel Bison or any Jack in the Box burger advertisement. I had not thought about how even in those advertisements focused on women, they also have sexy men, not shirtless but pretty handsome.
I don’t mind shirtless men I am comfortable with myself to not get uncomfortable, it’s those with fit bodies and rock hard abs. Being a bigger individuale when I see things like that I get self conscious about my body and get upset that I don’t look like that. I found interesting that men will try and prove their masculinity to others. ITs true but hearing it sounds so idiotic, why must one have to prove to oter how masculine they are. Why should it matter if one is masculine and the other is not. I have played sports all my life, and it was always about being more masculine than the other. If a player did something better than me I wanted to prove that I could do it better and harder. I feel like this mentality has been installed in to young men at an early age.
Thanks for your thoughts on this.
I found this blog post to be very interesting. I feel like it was able to really show the perspective of men being sexualized when normally women are in the media. I can totally see how when surveying other men about the Magic Mike photo, how it could make them feel insecure or like they should be working out more. I think men will think from that photo that that is what all women are desiring and if they aren’t ripped, then they are undesirable. I think it goes the same way with women wherein commercials women can be sexualized and be shown to have big boobs, blonde hair, and tan skin. Another point in your post that I found to be extremely interesting is the fact that a lot of men had to prove their masculinity and let you be aware that they were not gay, or even remotely attracted to the Magic Mike photo. I think those men felt threatened in some way because their sexual preference really didn’t need to be mentioned when they were just observing a photo.
I can see the double standard, I have not wondered about men’s feelings when they see other partially-clothed men like in movies like Magic Mike, a movie I actually enjoyed but am now rethinking it. It is sad that they feel uncomfortable because I can relate, feelings of inadequacy or maybe feeling that they are not safe is horrible. It was surprising to read that one in five of the men surveyed said that they felt Channing Tatum was being objectified when it should have been obvious to me when I saw the film myself. In the case of the “man in motion”, the fact that 17% of the 24 men surveyed on Diet Coke’s Sexy Gardener Ad said that the ad was objectifying to men is a revelation to me that it is not fair for women to expect men to look like the models cast for certain commercials.
Women’s objectification is a lot more common in our society than men’s objectification. So, it can be easy to forget or not think about what men think of their portrayal in the media. When men in ads are naked, straight men are mostly uncomfortable. As more clothing and movement is added to the models, the straight men feel more at ease and are able to praise the model’s body more. Both envy and guilt about their own bodies increases when the model becomes more like a real person. They wish they had their muscled body. I think that admiration of a man with some clothing compared to a naked man is seen as less “gay”. It is more masculine and objective. They also did not feel the need to defend their sexuality as much. I agree with the idea that movement instead of a print ad made the model less objectified and is at least partially responsible for the men’s change in attitudes.
Seeing the shirtless, well-built men mentioned in the blog-post, I feel that I would land in the camp of neutral/low reaction. I can see the argument of it being objectifying, and frankly I think these ads/media are playing on a male stereotype and an “idealized” body. I suppose they do more harm than good in regards to purporting a “macho man,” “alpha” culture, but I think, as the coca-cola ad shows, it is becoming more of a joke. We are becoming aware that these tend to be ridiculous over-exaggerations of male physique, especially in regards to the affect on women. Taken out of context, for face-value, it would still contribute to the gender-role based society that we live in today, and could have the same affect that scantily clad, skinny women have in advertisements.
The difference between men and women in these roles lies in the fact that women are put in the role of subordinate to men, and thus advertisements sexualizing/idealing women seem to have a more negative influence than those with men.
As a straight man, I personally feel nothing from the picture of the shirtless man and I don’t particularly feel any envy or disgust from it. In fact, I see it pretty natural. I think that goes for most men they will simply compliment the model for their bodies since that takes work and effort and is something to be admired for. That’s not to say I would want to see anymore than that though. I feel that showing any man a picture of another man in the nude would cause a negative reaction because that would be seen as gay. Reason being, that is what society and the depiction of homosexuals has led us to believe. I believe that is why some of they men would make the point of saying they aren’t gay. By removing the pants from the model it turns the image from masculine to sexual since that is what it is commonly associated with. The sexualization of men and women are vastly different from each other in our time as for years the female body has more or less become a symbol for a number of other things besides sex while the male body isn’t seen the same way. Not only that but it has pretty much become common place to label appreciation of the male body by a man to be “gay” since it makes others believe that a sexual attraction is felt. I don’t think that the different treatment of male and female bodies is fair as it causes women to be seen as objects because of the treatment of their bodies in media and any sort of appreciation for the male body can be labeled as being homosexual.
This post is particularly interesting to read because it is surprising how many men felt the need to defend their “straightness”. An attractive person is an attractive person, despite being attracted TO them. It is also interesting to see how often women are portrayed in the media: heavily objectified yet this is seen as normal vs. when a man is objectified in the same way, suddenly there is an issue. For all the men who felt uncomfortable seeing another man in that way, shouldn’t they also feel uncomfortable seeing a woman being portrayed in that light? The fact that 60% of men said they were envious of his build and that 17% said it made them feel bad about their own bodies stood out since normally women are seen as the more insecure gender, with stereotypes that we are constantly comparing and contrasting, yet when the tables are turned it seems both men and women have the same feelings.
I’ve seen many examples of ads, movies, and more objectifying and sexualizing women. I know that in our world, it’s generally “normal” for a man to be attracted to women and for as long as anyone can remember, women are something men desire. Though there’s nothing wrong with that, there came a point in time when women were losing their identities due to the way they were being portrayed.
It was interesting reading your blog about the objectifying discussion. When men were placed in the role of the sexualized object they had similar reactions to women. Though some disliked it, some thought it was funny, and some didn’t’ care. Each person reacts differently maybe based off what they’re experienced in their own lives. About the video in the blog post, I thought the diet coke add was funny. Not only cause of the music and the scene but because the roles of what society has pressed upon us were switched. Instead of the men gawking at the girls, the man was the center of attention. I don’t think there’s a way to get rid of their attitude of attraction since, as a race, we’re supposed to mate and reproduce. I just think it shouldn’t only be men looking at women.
Yeah, but it would be interesting to see what happens when the tables are turned.
In my opinion, there shouldn’t be a difference between the sexualization of men and women. I believe that the reason women are less uncomfortable when they see a partially naked woman is because it is so normal for them. Women are sexualized and seen as objects in media so often that it rarely sparks much emotion. If it is more carefully considered, a woman can be attracted to anyone she wants, and a man can be attracted to anyone he wants, so why are women still sexualized more? Obviously, in the past, men held a lot more power legally, but now it has carried over into today’s times, and it has caused such a horrible and unfair imbalance. Sometimes this can cause men to think that they are being attacked by women just because of how much emotion the subject brings up, but in my opinion, it is vital to remember that the focus is on equality, and everyone should strive to have the same chances as others.
This post was a perfect demonstration of how the media affects male perception of what masculinity truly is. I feel like the reason why men feel uncomfortable about men who wear less clothing is because of the fact that it makes them feel uncomfortable about themselves. The image of what men appear in the media are unrealistic which, as a result, destroys the self-confidence of normal men in our society. I think that this post ties in well to your newest post called Why Do Betas Push Theory That Insults Them because of the fact that it explains why beta males feel as though they are not as good as alpha males that are mainly presented in mainstream media who possess strong builds that automatically makes them more “masculine”, something that I do not believe at all. It is the insecurity that women have a “certain” taste which destroys the confidence of men who assume that women only care about looks. This completely stands true with the video Diet Coke’s Sexy Gardener which show cases a group of women purposely giving a man a can of coke just to make him take his shirt off. Just the fact that the title of the Coke Ad calling the gardener “sexy” is absolutely atrocious! Who in the world determines what is “sexy” or not? This is the negative effects that media has on men and because of that it damages their perceptions of themselves.
I found some of this article to be particularly shocking. I think that I was most taken back by how many men responded with wanting their body to look like that. I expected some of them to make remarks about them not being gay therefore the image or ad may make them feel uncomfortable. I think what really got me was some of them saying that they found it particularly objectifying and I think that is something that everyone deals with on the daily. I think that we all see images of people half naked and if you identify with that gender then it leaves room for you to feel objectified because people look at images or ads like that and make snide remarks or fantasize about it. These situations can make anyone feel uncomfortable. I think that women are more likely to feel neutral about a woman being half naked in a picture than a man because of the idea of masculinity and how you may be judged or perceived if you do not have a negative connotation towards the image.
The word “gay” is used in such a negative connotation, till this day, so I feel like men are petrified of even being considered homosexual. They block off anything that would make them look even slightly homosexual and become very defensive if a situation like that occurs. A man not wearing a shirt accounts for a sexual outlook and makes many men uncomfortable because they care so much about what people will think of them and are terrified by the thought of being homosexual since society demoralizes it. Their masculinity clouds their judgment and thoughts.
I couldn’t help but compare this study to women’s reactions on partially clothed women. Women are much less likely to feel uncomfortable during a situation like this. This is probably because partially clothed women are seen much more often on media. They are over sexualized to the point that it seems “normal” and doesn’t feel uncomfortable.
I believe that men usually get offended by looking at a partially-clothed man because we are scared of seen as homosexual. In most cultures, homosexuality for men is considered more wrong than the homosexuality of women. If people see a lesbian couple kissing in the street, I don’t think that someone would get offended. In fact, straight men would like seeing it. On the other hand, if a gay couple is kissing in the street, most people would get offended because they see it as a threat of masculinity. I personally, don’t get offended looking at a partially-clothed man and seeing a gay couple kissing because I support the LGBT community and I support people showing their natural gender expressions. Because I am a straight male, seeing a partially-clothed man doesn’t affect me in a sexual matter but it doesn’t also bother me seeing it. In fact, I would get jealous if I see a good body. I think while she was surveying those 40 straight men, some of the men just said “seeing it bothers me,” because they are so scared of being seen as gay. I believe that it is totally normal for a straight man to like another man’s body or being neutral to it. People should stop thinking about what other people think and they just should focus on their ideas and feelings.
And this shows how much our society defines sexy as nakedness and women, and not nakedness and me, when there is really no reason to do that.
I am totally straight. I however think that some men “look good” or “handsome”. I don’t see the problem because I feel like I am just complimenting someone. There is nothing more, The person who said “It looks gay” sounds like he is jealous and has a problem with his body . It has nothing to do with “what is gay or not”. I call it fashion. Some people display tattoos on their body as well, no one call them “devil” because in my country for example, tattoos are seen bad but it doesn’t mean people who carry tattoos are bad people. The distribution of people feeling about that in the article sounds reasonable to me because most of the people will admire the beauty of the body and nothing else. Some will feel indifferent and there might be couple haters that will call that “gay”.
Women generally fall for that kind of stuff because they are generally more attracted by men with great body. However, a lot of them have interest in other traits such as eyes, booty, height and so on. Women are great fan of beauty in all kind so when men body beauty is offered to them, they appreciate it.
Well, all of us are a mixture of our personalities + our social experiences + culture. And our culture defines sexy as women and female nudity, so it can be jarring to women and men alike to see sexy naked men. Women had a lot of problems with these images too.
Me personally I don’t at all feel offended as male after watching coca cola commercial. Though after watching it on youtube and then going down to the comment section and so of the guys seemed offended. Their argument was that if this was if the roles were reversed and it was a bunch of guys doing this to a female the commercial would not be able to air. To this, there have been many commercials that exploit women sexuality for advertisement reasons. One example I can think of is the old Carl’s Junior commercial was the very attractive female model would pose on a car and wear a revealing outfit while eating a Carl’s Junior burger. There are also many other commercials that tends to portray women in that same manner.
I found this discussion post extremely interesting. It is fascinating seeing the reaction of men towards other men partially to almost not clothed and comparing that to how women react to another woman. I believe that men react negatively towards other men partially clothed for many reasons, one of them, as described in the article is jealousy. Many men that are shown in magazines or movies have extremely built and toned bodies, it is part of their job to look and train the way they do, but it makes other men looking at them jealous because they probably see the reaction women make at seeing these men in movies and want to look like that. I found it really interesting how defensive men got about seeing these pictures or videos saying that they weren’t attracted to the guy they were shown or saying things such as, “I don’t look at male figures in any other way then as a bro”. I believe there is a big difference when men look at pictures of other men shirtless and if a woman looks at a picture of another woman not fully clothed, a man will look at the man as a treat and have to defend themselves by saying that they don’t think he’s attractive because they will be accused of “sounding gay”. Meanwhile, woman looking at a picture of another woman and say she looks good or is beautiful and that is supportive or kind, she is not looked at as a lesbian. There is clearly an in between that both women and men get jealous of seeing attractive pictures of either a man or a woman. Now with social media being so dominant in our society, it is so unhealthy that we are all constantly being exposed to unrealistic body images that are close to unachievable making men and women jealous and feel bad about themselves.
As a male athlete, who grew up changing around my teammates. Nudity doesn’t bother me anymore, but it also doesn’t mean that im starring. I as an individual am very comfortable with my sexuality that seeing other men such as Channing Tatum in magic mike, or other commercials, that it won’t bother me at all. Its natural, to see and feel envious or applaud an individual on how they look. I feel that men are either to shy or freak out about the situation because they find it weird to see another man. But its natural, they are also human beings. In some instances if men shy away are are disturbed by the siting, its either two things. One, they aren’t conflicted and unsure about their sexuality. Being the reason they shy away and are disturbed or just simply see it as a sign of disrespect and violation of boundaries. Overall its natural and it should not matter.
I’m a heterosexual man. In my opinion, nudity male can not attract me, but I’d like to envy their body and I hope I could have the same. I think male nudity is Common. For example, sport player always take off their cloth after a game and people on the beach, men are always nude.
Furthermore, male proud of their body shape. There is Bodybuilding competition. Those male who has confidence will go to the competition and take of clothes show their muscle to the audience. Of course that I admit men are trying to attract women by their strong nice body, but I think it is OK that nudity male appear in the media. Also, when we are swimming there is no cloth or man put on top. So I think it is of that man show their body to people.
T”oxic masculinity is the negative behavior that many men express because of the way they’re socialized, as I talked about in the article. Having already talked about it I won’t repeat it all here. ”
So the entitlement Eliot Rodgers felt about women(attractive blonde women) is society’s fault? Or is it his parents fault? Or those guys are just broken and would react in the same way if they had been raised in a female-friendly society?
”It’s also illogical. Men naturally protect and because of that they harm instead of protect? So what’s the point of being naturally protective if it only leads to harming instead?”
This has got me confused. What would be the reasons for toxic masculinity to not be a natural trait in some men, in many men, like you’ve stated bad men are bad men due to the way they were socialized and raised, but protecting women is apparently natural and expected of men?
I don’t have that ”natural” tendency to protect women or little children. When I was a teenager my mother told me that no matter how pretty a girl is or how good she is in bed, it’s not worth dying for her. I die for a girlfriend or for a wife and what happens? Is she going to join a convent for the rest of her life because I was so masculine and so strong in my willingness to protect her that she could never be happy with another man?
I got a feeling that many men die protecting women – even women they are not blood-related or are sexually involved with – because they it’s been hammered into us that we have to protect women at all costs, even if that means dying for them or getting maimed over the course of protecting women.
Even when I was 12 years old, I had female teachers who told me to escort 5 girls to their respective homes because there were a trio of 20 year olds walking around harassing young girls near my school.
Being called a coward or keeping all of my teeth?
Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like women, that I’m not attracted to women, nor does it mean that my parents didn’t raise me to respect women. They did, but I kinda enjoy being alive, you know?
Well I don’t think that men should feel like they have to give up their lives to protect women. And regarding your first question, all of us are a mix of culture + social interactions + and the personality we are born with. So we find large cultural patterns and individual differences.
I’m an heterosexual male. I grew up playing soccer and being part of the Cross Country team back in high school. I am used to male nudity,It doesn’t bother me. Am I intimidated by physically attractive men(Shirtless men like Cristiano Ronaldo or Chris Hemsworth?
No. I admire and applaud the work and self-sacrifice they put into sculpting their bodies. Most men do not bother with their personal fitness levels, with most guys I see on a daily basis, thousands upon thousands of them, are usually too skinny to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye(average height here is 5’8” and 140-150lbs at 10% body fat, for those who don’t pratice sports, nor do they visit the gym).
I see a few guys who are swole, guys at 180lbs and 6 to 9% body fat, but that happens once a year or so.
”lize women just don’t care that much about it. The Coke ad is quite fun actually, but if I had to criticize it, it gives the impression women care about men with muscly bodies. The research says that isn’t really true.”
Depends on the level of physical attractiveness of the woman. If she looks like Adriana Lima or Alessandra Ambrosio, yeah, she’s going to care about a lack of muscles.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.
Interestingly men tend to overestimate how much women care about big muscles. Women do like the toned look, for sure. But it’s more the way men appear in Cosmo than Men’s Health. but it’s also not a huge deal.
I found this particular blog very interesting. As a woman, I constantly hear of my friends and other women sound me feeling objectified an feeling like they can’t go down the street wearing something even slightly revealing without a man staring or saying dumb things. To know that men experience a similar emotion of objectification was rather surprising and new to me. I also noted the necessity men seemed to have to prove that they’re not “gay” if they saw a picture of the shirtless man. If someone showed me a picture of another woman wearing minimal clothing, the last thing that would cross my mind is letting everyone know that I’m not lesbian. It is saddening to see the effects that society have on men and their masculinity and how forced they feel to prove themselves to others. This is toxic masculinity and it is frightening because the way we each think is the way we will one day raise our children to be.
It’s interesting to see how things look when cultural depictions shift in surprising ways.
This is quite interesting to know reactions about how men looking at other men that are partially clothed. For me, as a man, I respect men who have a nice toned and muscular body. It makes me want to work out and actually get to that at one point. I never really found it sexualizing to men because I think it actually makes men want to work out more and live a healthy lifestyle. I also think it does not make men who do not look like less attractive to females. I really do believe that woman are attracted to all different types of men. Men who feel disgusted about other men being partially naked, in my opinion, are just insecure about themselves. I also feel that they are not used to being shown off for there physical features like how woman have been looked at for most of there time being here in our society.
Thanks for your thoughts on this.
It always seems funny to me when men feel “objectified” and uncomfortable by other partially-clothed men or when they become self-conscious of their own bodies because of comparisons to that of the half-naked images. For women, this is a daily occurance and something we have all become accustomed to seeing and being exposed to. The majority of advertisements, regardless of what they are selling, involve some type of sexualization of women. Fast food commercials have involved a bikini-clad woman “washing” a car and devouring a burger. There is a yearly and highly publicized lingerie fashion show made up entirely of gorgeous, half-naked women, but most of the men surveyed for the partially-clothed study would probably not see anything wrong with this double standard. Women do not watch that show and call it “gay” or “homoerotic” because it has been normalized in our society. Our bodies have been constructed by culture and disproportionately judged on physical appearance for hundreds of years–if not thousands (Chinn et al., 2014). I think it is good to expose men to these same feelings and ideas because then maybe they would understand and positive change would occur.
I think it’s a good thing to turn things around so that people can get more perspective on how “the other side” experiences things.
In the article “Men Looking at Partially-Clothed Men”, it was describing how men feel about one another being half-naked or full on naked. I thought it was interesting that looking at other “fit” guys made them either feel uncomfortable with their own bodies or either feeling that the guy without the shirt on is gay, making the guy homophobic. Later, I watched the video Diet Coke’s Sexy Gardener and saw in the video that the girls in the background were basically drooling over the man’s body. To me, this makes women look like they are only interested in men’s bodies which could lead people to suspecting that that is all that women like in a man, which is not the case. The women are also shown to be whispering and gossiping like teenagers when in the video, these women are fully grown and independent. Yes, this video also discriminated men that are not fit and built like the guy being shown, but society has been known for changing people’s perspectives on one another.
Good observation. Are women typically hanging around like Samantha in Sex and the City pointing out sexy men and drooling over them? I don’t think they are, but please enlighten me if I’m wrong.
Sorry off topic again, but I thought you might appreciate a different perspective on toxic masculinity.
Okay I listened to a large part of the video and he doesn’t seem to understand what people are complaining about when they complain about toxic masculinity.
And I couldn’t figure out how it related to him not being able to comfort a girl whose dog had died since his definition of toxic masculine is that men are comported to protect others but sometimes get stressed out over the constant need to protect and then lash out — and that that’s okay because it’s normal.
Lashing out at people is neither okay nor normal. I personally don’t have any male friends who exhibit toxic masculinity. If they did they wouldn’t be my friends.
Toxic masculinity is the negative behavior that many men express because of the way they’re socialized, as I talked about in the article. Having already talked about it I won’t repeat it all here.
It’s neither natural nor necessary as many men are evolved enough to not do it.
It’s also illogical. Men naturally protect and because of that they harm instead of protect? So what’s the point of being naturally protective if it only leads to harming instead?
I don’t agree with everything he says though, what I think he means that if men keep it in too long, and do it wrong, then they can lash out harmfully and be destructive. I don’t think he’s endorsing it.
(And neither am I. Abuse is evil and wrong)
What I think he’s trying to get at is this difference between benevolent and MALevolent sexism.
It comes from a place of love, even if it is sometimes misguided. And it may not be, given that women find “benevolent” sexism (key word… benevolent) to be more attractive than “wholeness”
The point about men Keeping it in and then exploding gets to the point of how we raise boys to feel like they can’t express their emotions or ask for help. If boys were given more support, including support for their emotions everyone would be better off.
Benevolent sexism ends up being a problem When women are told that they are being helped But they are actually being limited. Four instance, women being told they can’t work overtime because it’s just too hard and we are just trying to help women to not overwork, and then they lose money and potential promotions.
I don’t actually see chivalry as benevolent sexism. I see it as trying to balance the scales in a world where women are constantly put down. Listen to popular music and women are routinely called bitches and hoes. Or women are undervalued and underpaid. It’s as if we need a counterbalance for that sort of behavior and create a counterbalance by putting women on a pedestal. When a man opens a door for a woman I don’t think he is saying, “you are too weak but look how strong I am, I can open the car door.“ I think he is putting her on a pedestal like we do presidents, who also don’t open their own doors. So long as women are put down, so long as Women and the feminine is devalued I actually think it’s important to balance by clearly valuing women. My hope would be that in the end everyone would treat one another with chivalry and no one will put anyone else down.
I guess we are used to see women half naked… so, women don’t react negatively to it. But, maybe due to the role straight guys are supposed to play… if they show up in underwear, for instance, they seem ‘more naked’ somehow if compared to women wearing underwear. Instagram is a good way to check this out. Shawn Mendes’ last campaign for Calvin Klein (wearing boxers) is full of homophobic comments. People just considered it to be too gay. However, perceptions change if a man is shirtless but wearing jeans, that’s totally true. Great points here, dear Georgia. Wishing you the best ♥️👋
Yeah, it’s interesting to see the contrast and how people react to women and men showing skin.
I really enjoyed reading this post because I think that male objectification isn’t a topic that is very common. We hear a lot about women objectification because it is a thing that happens a lot in our society and more common that male objectification. Although male objectification isn’t as common it should still be something we talk about because no one is an object, we are humans and so we should be treated as humans not objects. The sample of the men being questioned is quite small unfortunately, I wish that the sample size of men being questioned was bigger. If the sample size was bigger we could see how accurately it represents a bigger area such as a whole city. I would also like to see what the men think of women in things like ads, movies and commercials to see if they still have the same thoughts or if they think women objectification is more “acceptable”.
Regarding sample size, there are two different types of methodology, quantitative and qualitative. Qualitative methodology like I used — ask people open ended questions — gives you rich data that isn’t biased by me trying to think of all the possible answers beforehand. The next step is for someone to take this data and do a large quantitative sample to see how universalized it is. But even with a small sample you get some interesting patterns, which is the point of qualitative sociology.
I think that it was interesting to read that some of the men found the pictures of the shirtless men to be objectifying. I feel like this is something that you do not really hear men say a lot. There are more people commenting on the fact that women have their bodies objectified. I do not think I have ever heard any man in my life say that he feels uncomfortable seeing a man shirtless. Most men have grown used to taking off their shirt or walking around half naked. It is normal for them to be doing these behaviors. However, when a girl does it she is called many names and shunned for exposing her body. I also think that there are more people critiquing the bodies of women than men. I think that the way we were raised also plays a part in this. Growing up, the men in my life have always had freedom to do and wear whatever they want. I think because of this, I initially was shocked to read that some men are uncomfortable with partially-clothed men.
I think this blog is really interesting because it compares in some way to women image too. Women might look at partially-clothed men and think about how men are supposed to look. In the same way, men might see women in tv with an ideal body and might also think that all women should look like that and if women don’t look the way an ideal body supposed to look men will not be attracted to women. Some men might also be insecure because they might say that they don’t look good or don’t have abs and women might not look at them. But men and women have the same problem the standards for how men and women should look are changing by time. But men and women because of the changes might get more insecure because they might say that they don’t look like the models in TV, but in this case and in this blog, men are the ones that are being criticized because of not being able to be secured by being partially-clothed.
It’s interesting to flip things around and see what happens.
As I read the article Men looking at Partially – Clothed men it was interesting to see how women and men are alike. Since both genders have the tendency to criticize each other. For example, some women find it interesting and very normal for a celebrity or an ordinary female to pose with a bathing suit or less clothing. However, there are women that find this kind of situations like not respecting themselves or leaving aside their value. On the other hand, it is interesting to see that in this article men seem to have the same kind of reactions when they are asked about men who pose without clothing. After all, I feel like their way of responding to this kind of situations seems to be part of one generation to another. Since some cultures seem to think that this kind of behaviors is from people that are trying to sell themselves.
This blog is interesting and makes me kind of mad in a sense because it doesn’t seem fair that men feel uncomfortable seeing other men nude or partially nude and want to make a big deal out of it, yet woman are always portrayed semi nude in movies, tv shows, and in some cases even in their work environment. Yet men don’t ask us how we feel about seeing other women nude or partially nude. This is another example of how we live in a male dominated society and when men feel their masculinity threaten they always have something to say. As a women in my opinion I don’t care that women are partially nude or even nude because I know that those bodies aren’t realistic and I don’t compare myself to them. However, I don’t talk down or think it’s “gay” that I don’t care that women are partially nude in front of me. Coming from another point of view I don’t blame men for feeling uncomfortable seeing other men naked because society has taught them to be dominant in their environment and when they see another man who looks better or looks stronger they feel weak and try to find ways to boost up their confidence.
Yeah, I find myself annoyed by that gender difference too. At the same time I do understand it simply because we are so inundated by nearly naked women that it has come to seem natural and normal. Opposite for men. Interestingly, this pisses off a lot of men who wish that women saw a men as sexier.
I found this post extremely interesting. This article states that men feel more comfortable if a man is wearing pants without a shirt rather than being completely nude as they feel the man looks more masculine in the pants and no shirt outfit. This reminds me of an article I read a few months ago about how some of the actors on “Game of Thrones” started petitioning for more male nudity, as they felt there was an imbalance of male to female nudity on the show. The debate was started by a few of the female actors, as they felt that they were being objectified by the writers and directors since they were constantly being pressured to go nude while their male cast mates were not. When some of the male actors were asked if they would consider going nude, they said they were worried about feeling emasculated and would much rather do shirtless scenes, or scenes with implied nudity that did not require them to actually be nude. This relates to the article because in both cases the men were talking about how seeing a fully nude man on screen makes them uncomfortable and emasculated, but a semi nude man or a completely nude woman does not make them feel that way.
Ah, more data. Thanks for sharing.
I don’t mind seeing this at all, it gives me an image to admire and look forward to. 😳😏🧐🙂
Off topic a little bit, I was reading your old posts about slut shaming. I think girls are the BIGGEST slut shamers. But some guys do it as well. Why? It would seem to be self defeating, right? Guys want sex, but they slut shame?
The answer is we want our girlfriends and wives to love having sex… WITH US. Not with other guys. It comes from a place of insecurity, different from the old “why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free thing among girls”
Note I’m not saying I’m judgmental here, this is just how other guys think. There is also evidence to back it up, As a woman’s previous sexual partners go up, her risk of leaving her husband and boyfriend does as well. If a woman wants to be sexually liberated, I say she should have the same right to do it as men, but she better be financially successful and have a stable income, because this is how men think ladies.
It’s more THAL, THESE HOES AINT LOYAL, at least that’s how
Chris Brown says it!!
But there is a double standard here in that men aren’t shamed for having sex. And you find slut-shaming in societies that are patriarchal and don’t find it in societies that aren’t. Part of the reason may be that in ancient societies when women could easily have sex with every man this gave women a lot of Power. When you don’t know who daddy is family name is traced through the women, women are heads of clans, and property passes through women. Now add the double standard which frees men and shackles women. It enforces patriarchy.
Meanwhile, men might want their wives and girlfriends to enjoy sex with them and only them, but when women start to see sex as something that could harm them, harm their standing in the community, it’s common for women to repress sexual desire until it actually goes away. That’s part of the reason that almost half of American women have low or no interest in sex.
But I am all for women being self-sufficient!
The portrayal of men in advertisements, social media, movies, and other forms of entertainment can often be unrealistic. Men are able to feel self-conscious as well, so seeing other men with a six-pack and a well-built body can make them think that’s what they have to look like; it especially may not help when shirtless, partially-clothed fit men are always the type of guy seen being swooned over and chased after by women. This can explain why the majority of the sample said that the images and appearance of the Diet Coke man and Magic Mike made them want to improve their body and work out more to be like them. Also, society has also made it seem as if a man admitting that another man is attractive is “gay;” this may be why some of the sample had to justify themselves saying that they’re straight and that they’re not attracted to men, even saying that looking at the images was “homoerotic.” Being able to admit that you find someone of the same sex attractive doesn’t mean you have to defend yourself, whichever sexuality you are, it’s okay to find someone of the same sex appealing. Men may have thought the Diet Coke ad seemed less offensive because the gardener taking his shirt off was considered to be funny and unexpected, while Magic Mike is a movie centered around male strippers. I believe that either way, objectifying isn’t the right thing to do and it is an issue both women and men have to deal with; it can be offensive and discouraging.
Yeah, objectification is an equal opportunity offense.
I think your blog post is very different from what I’ve seen out there and very different from everyone else on this blog post’s website. Your post has made me realize just how different and alike men and women are in certain ways. Men see things in different ways of how women do. When I first think of men and commercials I think of them advertising clothes or other types of things for men and women also tend to think that men are all tough and don’t care about their appearance when that’s not always the case. Men have emotions as well men may not always show them because they are afraid of what other people will think of th men think that if people especially women see that they do have emotions that’s they will be called names or that it would be considered unmanly of them and they aren’t a true man for having fear by showing emotions towards something they are passionate about.
I found it really interesting to see how men responded to this.
After reading your blog, I found it interesting there was a higher percentage of men uncomfortable with the images of other men shirtless, and other wanted to look like those men. I was even more intrigued by the percentage of men who felt intimidated or bad about themselves and their bodies. While women are far more likely to be shown in movies and the media as young, beautiful and wearing sexy clothing, men today are viewed through these unrealistic images of perfection and they have the same effect on men as they do women. Some strive to transform their bodies into these images, while others become demoralized and felt it was objectifying. Even more interesting was the idea that women were divided by viewing the Diet Coke commercial where the women promoted the man to take his shirt off when the diet coke sprayed all over him. There seem to be mixed feelings with men and women on whether these images are objectifying men. Society has been objectifying women throughout history, and this is a great topic since it suggests no matter which gender is being objectified not everyone believes it to be right.
Yeah, I found it interesting that they were a certain amount of commonalities with women. Both the commonalities and the differences were quite revealing.
I thought the commercial was clever, funny and a switch from the usual wet tee shirt. But I realize there are a lot of up-tight people in the country. And the only way to avoid criticism is to not do anything or be anything.
Yeah. You got a point there.
To add one more anecdote to your statistics, over the past five years or so my other mostly heterosexual male friends and I occasionally made jokes about our “man crushes”, which is something that would have gotten us ridicule or beatings in our twenties or teenage years.
I’ve had gay and bisexual friends for twenty years, so it’s been a long time since I had bigoted views of non-heterosexual orientations. But even in a group of friends that included gays and was friendly to gays, for the first ten or fifteen of those years the heterosexual guys wouldn’t be comfortable with half-naked men or complimentary towards them or similar.
And before anyone chimes in with anything – I am open to the possibility me or some of my other male friends or all of us are bisexual or homosexual and just aren’t willing to accept it yet. That prospect doesn’t bother me in the slightest for me or for them. But I don’t quite think that’s my situation. I’ve looked at gay adult content out of curiosity and it does nothing erotic for me.
So maybe cultural attitudes are shifting in a good way.
It does sound like attitudes are shifting. Thanks for chiming in with your experience with this topic.
I suppose the response to seeing male skin is dependent on the background of the male observing. If it is someone who has worked on building sites or been involved in any sports where they are used to seeing other men showing a lot of skin, then it is something that is just natural.
It seems envy is a common reaction when males or females see someone with a good physique.
Interesting thought. Thanks for bringing that up.
I don’t know what this proves. I could give any of these answers. Yes their bodies look good, and I don’t mind looking at it. But there’s also a deep underlying “I don’t care” attitude too. And if I thought you cared to know if I’m “attracted”, I could tell you I’m not. And if I could be bothered comparing it to my flab, I could whimsically say that I should work out.
Well thanks for offering your perspective on this. I was surprised by much of what I saw in the men’s answers.
As a man I feel I know the reasons why guys were more comfortable. Yes, more covered up made the men more masculine and it less of a sexual pose. More masculine and less sexual pose is less daunting on a straight man’s eyes. I think this also plays into the sexy women can make men feel bad post or the comparison I made or further prove it. In that post I said how good looking, well built men ironically have less of an effect on men feeling bad about their bodies or sex appeal than hot women scantily clad does. As you see from the answers of men, only a very few felt they needed to workout after seeing such images. Whereas many women would probably feel the need to workout if seeing sexy women. Though the well built men probably didn’t make women feel they had to workout to attract such men or feel bad. It’s sexy women that makes women but also men feel bad, even though for different reasons. But I think it’s maybe the lower half is seen as more “nude” or more vulnerable to show perhaps? Like a man shirtless is so commonly casual. Whereas if a man’s lower half starts to get bared it makes the image become more sexual which dudes don’t want to see that part of a man because you don’t want to see that from the sex you’re not attracted to. But as you can see men can apperciate a man’s physique but it depends on the context and what’s shown. Like I could be like, yeah he has a good physique I wouldn’t mind being ripped like that. It’s because it’s just the torse bared and dudes can admire that muscle and definition, because it’s not an eye sore perhaps because it’s less sexual and aesthetic reasons. It’s not the dick that is unsightly for straight dudes but really that lower nude half.
A dude can not have his dick shown, but we don’t want to see a man’s ass. Seriously, a speedo is bad enough but thing or bare butt, yeah we’d please appreciate not coming across that or seeing it ha. It’s very interesting too the difference. Women don’t have a problem seeing a fit woman’s butt and can admire it even though a woman’s ass is a sexual body part like breasts. But yeah, that’s not something straight dude’s admire and not just that, but like don’t want to even see or not something we look at or want to look at, I wonder if it’s also because of connotations that can go with the posterior of the body. For straight men, a woman’s ass is sexy for many reasons and ways, but also I think the subject who’s ass is bared is in a like a submissive pose and like as a man you’re used to the perspective and relation to ass in relation to stuff in relation to ass, like as far as sex. Her bare ass, how well when having sex one can enter the woman from behind, her ass, doggy style, penetration. Imagining penetrating the sexy woman’s ass.
The visual can be direct like that for guys. And why I think if a straight guy saw another dude staring at a man’s bare ass in a photo, he’d wonder if said dude was gay. Like is that dude “thinking of fucking that dude’s ass or something”, because of the direct sexual connotation fucking and taking someone from behind has for guys. And for that visual arousal and directness is the same reason I feel many gay men get directly aroused or can be see man’s bare ass like straight dudes toward women’s asses as in fucking said person from behind and how the ass looking sexy prompts that horniness and arousal. It’s probably why the jokes and homophobia of dudes joking not to drop the soap in the shower if they feel one of the men in the locker room shower is gay. It’s ridiculous but I think may be rooted in why such feelings.
It’s really interesting to see how gender differences, and similarities, play into all this. Some really interesting patterns out there. And yeah it does fit in well with that post you wrote. I always appreciate Reading your comments. Always food for thought.
“only a very few felt they needed to workout after seeing such images.”
Well.. I don’t think anyone asked them straight up if they felt like that. When I was young and ignorant I might have said that. But now I realize women just don’t care that much about it. The Coke ad is quite fun actually, but if I had to criticize it, it gives the impression women care about men with muscly bodies. The research says that isn’t really true.