Fascinating… asking test subjects to think more globally (in terms of the relationships between the parts that make the whole) reduced the bias that makes people think of women as body parts.
People were also better at discerning women’s individual body parts than they were at men’s individual body parts, further confirming the local processing, or objectification, that was happening. [Cleavage Countdown: 8 Facts About Breasts]
“It’s both men and women doing this to women,” Gervais said. “So don’t blame the men here.”
In the second experiment, researchers preceded the body-part task with images of letters made up of a mosaic of tiny letters — an H made up of hundreds of little Ts, for example. They told some participants to identify the tiny letters, prompting their brains to engage in local processing. Other participants were asked to identify the big letter, revving up global processing. This latter group became less likely to objectify women, the researchers found. They no longer were better at recognizing a woman’s parts than her whole body.