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Do We Really Want To Be Seen As An Object?

by Allie Marie Smith

I stumbled across this article about a study that which found that “men view half-naked women as objects” and thought it contained some valuable food for thought. I hate that the title of the article makes men sound like total jerks; that’s not true or fair for many reasons, regardless of the findings. I just think for us girls, it might make us do some serious thinking about what we wear.

The study was conducted on 21 undergraduate heterosexual males and used an MRI machine to scan the students brains while they viewed a series of photos of men and women, some fully clothed and others of whom only wore swimsuits. Here are just a few points from the article that really stuck out to me:

“The pictures of bikini-clad women activated brain regions associated with objects or “things you manipulate with your hands…”

“I think [the study] does relate to the effects of having pornography and sexualized images of women around and in the media because they spill over into how people treat women in general…these images may dehumanize women and encourage men to see them as objects.”

“…men do not look at their wives or sisters in the same way that they look at a sexualized image of a woman on an advertising billboard.”

“Women may also see men as objects in some ways….These findings are not unique to men. The results would likely have been similar for women, perhaps in terms of male status.”

I don’t think the desire of any girl’s heart regardless of her clothing or swimwear choices is to be seen as an object. Rather, we desire to be known, valued, understood and cherished.

How does this article influence your thoughts on the topic of modesty? Does it impact the way you think about swimwear or dress?

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