Study: Men are ‘programmed’ to look at attractive women, women look for statusJuly 13th, 2010 - 7:11 pm ICT by BNO News
AMSTERDAM (BNO NEWS) — Men are ‘programmed’ to look at attractive women, while women are more interested in status, according to the results of a Dutch study released on Tuesday.
Scientists of the ‘Vrije Universiteit’ (Free University) in Amsterdam tried to figure out why men often look at attractive women, a process that seems to be happening unconsciously.
With the help of electroencephalography (EEG) scans, which record the brain’s spontaneous electrical activity over a short period of time, scientists looked at how the brain responds while test subjects looked at photos of faces of attractive, unattractive, and average-looking people.
The results were released in the ‘Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience’ magazine, in which the scientists described how the brain responded to the tests. And, the study shows, the brains of all test subjects - of both men and women - reacted more actively to the photos of attractive and unattractive faces.
This response to both attractive and unattractive faces happens about 180 milliseconds after the photo is shown, which the scientists say shows that people have more difficulty ‘processing’ non-average faces.
Soon after this, between 200 and 650 milliseconds after showing the picture, the brains of the male test subjects showed more activity in response to the female faces.
The scientists explained this with a popular evolutionary theory: men are programmed to spend more attention on attractive women, because they are usually healthy and young, and therefore are more likely to bear many children.
The same evolutionary theory also suggests that women are less interested in looks, but rather look for ambitious men with status as they are able to take good care of them and their children.
The scientists further said that their study also shows that the human brain is not only designed to recognize threats - such as snakes, weapons and angry faces - but also to recognize the possibilities for the continuation of their existence.
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Tags: ambitious men, angry faces, attractive women, bno, brains, dutch study, eeg, electrical activity, electroencephalography, human brain, men and women, milliseconds, period of time, short period, snakes, study men, test subjects, time scientists, vrije universiteit, women women