A new study suggests that men who are scantily clad are viewed as more sensitive, but less intelligent than men who are fully dressed. Men: they're judged like us!
The research reveals that semi-naked people aren't necessarily viewed as mindless objects, but are instead attributed a different kind of mind, study researcher Kurt Gray, a University of Maryland psychologist, said in a statement.
"An important thing about our study is that, unlike much previous research, ours applies to both sexes," Gray said.
These experiments included both male and female volunteers who were given a questionnaire along with a photo and description of a man and a woman who were both topless (except the woman had on a bikini top. because of boobs!) and another experiment asked the volunteers to look at photos "as if they were on an online-dating website, focusing on attractiveness, and sometimes asking them to look at the photos as if they were hiring for a professional job, focusing on the mind.
Other experiments asked non-student, adult volunteers to rate agency versus experience in photos of porn stars wearing clothes versus the same stars with their clothes off."
The results revealed that the fewer clothes people wear, the more likely they are to be viewed as less competent, but when men wear less clothing they also appear to be more sensitive somehow. Maybe because a naked person of any gender is pretty vulnerable in a physical sense, but in this case, women in particular are still perceived as needing a little more protection — you know, because they're "weak".
For example, an increased desire to protect a scantily dressed woman from harm could play into the "benevolent sexism" that holds that women are weak and unable to fend for themselves, Gray said.
Scantily Clad Men Viewed As Less Competent [LiveScience]