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No, not that way. A study released last month in the journal Psychological Science appeared to show that what we think is attractive, or beautiful, is whatever requires the least amount of effort. Past studies seemed to show that people look at human faces in search of cues as to how likely a person would be to make a healthy baby.
They showed test subjects patterns of dots. In short, we like familiar things. We come to anticipate how things are supposed to look by seeing prototypes. And how do we become so fluent in recognizing a prototype? Prototypes can be made, he shows, by repeating the image of one — how many magazine covers has Britney scored? Too flabby. Sexiness evolves according to what we see over and over.
Does sex really sell? Sure, sex sells itself.
The adult sex industry is proof of that. But sex does not seem to do a very good job at selling other products like beer, cars or home loans. This appears to be instinctive. This is probably why a study last year from the University of Michigan showed that people who watched sexy TV programs could not recall much about what was advertised on those programs.
In this case, that lack of recall held for violent programs, too. Of course, there is the possibility that putting Paris Hilton on TV is always a mistake, but this time the mistake could be because our brains shut out all other input when we are faced with an erotic scenario. Just about every man I know can tell a story about talking to his wife or girlfriend and stopping mid-sentence — completely unconsciously, mind you — if a sexy woman walked by, or somebody got naked on Showtime.
But this can be true for women, too, and it may have something to do with the Winkielman showed.
Louis exposed hundreds of women to a variety of imagery, including violent and erotic imagery, and they consistently found that erotic imagery provoked the most powerful responses, even more powerful than the violent imagery. It was just so fast, so innate, so easy.
Anokhin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University, said after the study was published in May in the journal Brain Research. Women have responses as strong as those seen in men. All this new research is saying that we human beings have built-in radar for beauty, eroticism and sex. It comes with the territory and it may be the most instinctive, powerful stimuli we receive.
We like it, but we can also be victims of it. Brian Alexander is a California-based writer who covers sex, relationships and health. Alexander, also a Glamour contributing editor, is traveling around the country to find out how Americans get sexual satisfaction for the MSNBC. IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
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Brain Imaging of Human Sexual Response: Recent Developments and Future Directions