Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Viewing gender-specific objects influences perception of gender identity

Date:
September 26, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Spending too much time looking at high heels may influence how a viewer perceives the gender of an androgynous face, according to new research.

An example of a trial in experiment 1 (memorisation task). This example shows an adaptation to female-associated objects, a male face as the test stimulus with no delay between the objects and the test face and a ‘new’ object for the subsequent old/new recognition task.
Credit: Amir Homayoun Javadi, Natalie Wee. Cross-Category Adaptation: Objects Produce Gender Adaptation in the Perception of Faces. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (9): e46079 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046079

Spending too much time looking at high heels may influence how a viewer perceives the gender of an androgynous face, according to new research published Sep. 26 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Amir Homayoun Javadi of Technische Universitδt, Dresden and his colleagues. The study sheds new light on how the objects surrounding us may influence our perceptions of gender.

Related Articles


The authors found that when people view objects highly associated with one gender, like high heels for women or electric shavers for men, for a short period of time and are then asked to identify the gender of an androgynous face, they are more likely to identify it as being of the gender opposite to that associated with the stimuli.

Previous studies have demonstrated that continuous exposure to certain visual stimuli causes short and long term adaptations with temporary aftereffects due to repeated stimulation of specific pathways in the brain. For example, after prolonged exposure to a red screen, a viewer is more likely to perceive a white screen as being green (the perceptual opposite of red). This study, though, is the first demonstrating that such adaptation can occur for a more abstract feature like gender perception.

The authors suggest two possible explanations for their results. The first possibility they suggest is that common brain regions may be involved in identifying gender-associated objects and identifying the gender of androgynous faces, so the effect is akin to what occurs in the red screen-white screen example above. Alternately, the researchers suggest that a higher cognitive function of 'adapting to gender' may modulate the process of 'assigning gender', whether to an object or an androgynous face.

"This study highlights how exposure to objects in our environment can affect our perception of gender in everyday life" says Javadi, lead author of the paper.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amir Homayoun Javadi, Natalie Wee. Cross-Category Adaptation: Objects Produce Gender Adaptation in the Perception of Faces. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (9): e46079 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046079

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Viewing gender-specific objects influences perception of gender identity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926213934.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, September 26). Viewing gender-specific objects influences perception of gender identity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926213934.htm
Public Library of Science. "Viewing gender-specific objects influences perception of gender identity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926213934.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins