Some of the participants were told to judge the women on the basis of appearance, and others were told to judge them on the basis of personality, and as expected those who were judging the appearance spent a lot of time checking out the body, especially the breasts. But so did those who were supposed to be thinking about the woman's personality, although they were quicker to move from focusing on the waist to the face.
That held true even for the images that showed the models with a manipulated body that fell short of the sleek, well proportioned, frame that is widely regarded as the ideal. At least in some parts of the world.
So "the bodies of all women, regardless of attractiveness, are persistently looked at, evaluated, and potentially objectified," the study noted. And that holds true whether the observer is a man, or a woman. The researchers ended with this conclusion:
"This research contributes to a growing literature indicating that men, but also women, see women as objects."