Study: Men do look at women’s bodies more often than their faces (but so do women)

A new study out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has found the men do look at women’s bodies more than their faces.

Lead author and social psychologist Sarah Gervais explained that the study used eye-tracking technology to prove out what women have long reported.

The surprising part of the study was the woman in the study also looked at the chest and hips longer too.

From USA Today:

“The participants – 29 women and 36 men – were outfitted with the eye-tracking system, which measures in milliseconds how long the eyes are fixed on certain spots. Their gazes reacted to photographs of the same 10 women, each with three different digitally manipulated body shapes – curvaceous, much less curvaceous and in-between. (Only women’s bodies were viewed by study participants.) Both sexes fixed their gaze more on women’s chests and waists and less on faces. Those bodies with larger breasts, narrower waists and bigger hips often prompted longer looks.”

“The explanation may be partly evolutionary, Gervais says, since men may be drawn to more shapely women for childbearing — while women may be checking out their competition, she suggests.”

“And the study, published today in the journal Sex Roles, also finds that even when men are told to focus more on evaluating a woman’s expressions and personality, women with more curves get more positive personality ratings.”

I don’t think it’s surprising that women are checking out other women. Now the question is are they biologically attracted to those features, admiring them or judging them? I think judging them may be the answer.

I had one boss at the college paper that would assign stories to my chest. I would try to bend down to catch his eye! He was the most obvious man I’ve ever seen staring.

Are you surprised that both men and women check out shapely women? Do you think women are judging others or are admiring or are unaware they are even doing it? Do you know a man that is super obvious about checking out the ladies? Do you think women check out men like that? Is this something we should talk to our sons about?

21 comments Add your comment

Man in a van

October 29th, 2013
10:15 pm


October 30th, 2013
2:54 am

Don’t you think the survival of our species depends on men viewing women as sexual objects?

Anton Chigurh

October 30th, 2013
5:19 am

It is extremely difficult if there is cleavage.


October 30th, 2013
6:41 am

Well…women shouldn’t be so dang “pleasing” to the eye, except for the Walmart heifers or at the Golden Corral. My wife doesn’t care if I look and comment too. I grant her the same freedom of expression.

Back in the day, I had a couple of really good looking lesbian friends (hot lipstick variety) that would give shaggy a hand at picking up girls. They could leer with the best of men… we shared interest in “headlights” and butts…they could tell on sight if a girl was straight and readily obtainable, a waste of time, or well…just lesbian. They were great wing “women”, nearly 100% accurate. You could say that we shared in the spoils of victory.

Ahhhhhh…precious memories.


October 30th, 2013
6:45 am

“Is this something we should talk to our sons about?”

Yes, of course, but the fathers need to handle this very important “talk”, so the son knows just how to be discreet about checking women out and properly lusting over their delicious body parts. Not women talk.

Two words...

October 30th, 2013
7:04 am

…well, DUH!


October 30th, 2013
8:16 am

OK, let’s be honest…..women’s bodies are frankly much more interesting than their faces :)

And I suspect a similar study would say that women look at a man’s wallet (OK….car, clothes, other things that indicate the size of his wallet) more than his face as well.


October 30th, 2013
8:23 am

Are you surprised that both men and women check out shapely women? Nope.

Do you think women are judging others or are admiring or are unaware they are even doing it? Both. Although women are very judgemental anyway.

Do you know a man that is super obvious about checking out the ladies? Yes of course we all know a dawg, playa or disco jack.

Do you think women check out men like that? YES!!!! Marky Mark made a living in underware b/c we look. It is not even “older” women. Was watching Once Upon A Time (Sunday) with my daughters. The 11 yo is crushing on Peter Pan thinks he is cute. I of course like Captain Hook (I was accused by one of my good friends of being a pirate at heart anyway)…My older daughter (almost 14) said “Mom that guy has a butt. Only women should have a butt.” Are you honestly saying that you don’t notice a guys butt or shoulders or chest? Why do you think women watch football?

Another point: Someone above said that survival of the species is dependant on attraction for procreation. Feamles historically tend to select a mate based on their ability to protect and that comes from things like lean muscle mass vs beer gut.

Is this something we should talk to our sons about? Yes. Teach them that it is normal. Teach them that there is a face to go with the body that attracted them. There are feelings, a mind, a full person that comes with that body. Then teach them to appreciate and cherish the one they do choose to share in a long term marriage.

Rafe Hollister

October 30th, 2013
8:37 am

Everyone is looking at the bodies, so why do women spend all their money on their hair, their shoes, and their nails. I know men don’t look in those places, so they must be trying to impress their peers. I have never figured out why some 300# 75 year old woman can’t go out in public, unless she has had her hair done. I am hoping some female will please explain this lifelong question, I have as yet found no explanation for.


October 30th, 2013
8:47 am

I tend to look at the face first because you can get a read on the body without looking directly at it. Once the face is deemed attractive, then I move to the body if the initial read on it was good.

However, it depends on what comes out of her mouth as to whether or not I proceed. If she says something like, “what kind of car do you drive,” that’s the end of it. If she can hold and convo and is intelligent, she’s golden.

Devil's Advocate

October 30th, 2013
8:48 am

Everything is an object so of course everything can be objectified.

To follow what Rafe said about women spending so many resources on hair, shoes, nails, and other symbols of materialism (clothes, purses, jewelry), what sense does it make to invest so much in masking the body for attention but slamming men for appreciating the natural that is beneath it all?


October 30th, 2013
9:21 am

TWG did you see that some lady in North Dakota is planning to hand out “fat letters” instead of candy to kids she thinks are overweight? Now that might be a good thing to discuss. She should just not open her dang door.


October 30th, 2013
10:00 am

Big Black scopes out ALL tha chicks from 18 to 85. It’s just something in us. I don’t know if its an anthropoligical disposition, or what, but I looooove curves. A bangin’ rack and a big ole apple but will make Big Black work fo jobs for summa dat.

I wish they would do a study on how some women, slyly or overtly, check out a man’s junk. It doesn’t matter if she comes across as coy or loud, most tend to look down for a split second. I experience it often. It used to make me feel cheap when they did that but now I realize that if the chick was not into me then she would look in my face.


October 30th, 2013
11:13 am

Talk to my son about what?

“It’s like the sun. Don’t stare too long.”


October 30th, 2013
12:32 pm

@FCM…my husband has purchased a high powered flashlight that he loves to use when we walk our dog. He just told me that he is going to shine it into the cars that DRIVE up and down our street while their kids trick or treat. We have 16 houses total ( 8 on each side) and it really annoys me when people drive as there is really not room. We sit outside at the bottom of our driveway, so the kids do not have to walk up our hill. I am fine with people coming to our neighborhood, who do not live here, but walk your kids or wait at the end of the block please.

Real Life

October 30th, 2013
12:52 pm

The most important question I have is how many tax dollars were used to fund a pretty useless study.


October 30th, 2013
1:51 pm

@ MJG I agree I see some kid whose parent is driving them, and has the back of the van open with loaded pillow cases and the kid is getting another one filled. Do they donate it somewhere?

When I lived in an apartment we did drive to the next subdivision over. We walked the whole street. I would park at the top and we would go down oneside and up the next. We never needed more than one street to fill their bucket. We also follow my dad’s rule, when you tell me your bucket is to heavy you neeed ME to carry it we are done.
I don’t answer my door. I carry my bowl with me as I take my 2 around and pass out my candy as we see people. I get home and we are done.


October 30th, 2013
2:40 pm

Maybe when I was in my teens and twenties, I went by looks. Now I am pushing 40, I am all about personality, I just want someone who loves me for me and vice versa. Getting too old for nonsense.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 30th, 2013
3:59 pm

Hey FCM — somebody else had already grabbed that one. It’s a great topic though. they have it on the front.

J Geils

October 30th, 2013
6:46 pm

First, I look at the purse.


October 30th, 2013
6:50 pm

All I care is if they can cook, clean and not talk when the game is on.