A new study conducted by University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers has found that men are viewed in their entirety while women are viewed as a collection of parts by both the genders.
According to the study, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, when viewing a male, one tends to follow a "global" cognitive processing while females were viewed with a "local" cognitive processing similar to a collection of different parts.
The researchers conducted the study on a group of volunteers who were shown a series of images of average men and women. All of the images showed fully clothed male or female from head to the knee and staring straight at the camera.
After some time, the participants were shown two new images, one from the original set and the other a slightly modified version showing a sexual part. The researchers found that the participants were able to recognize a female sexual part more easily when shown in isolation compared to the males.
"We always hear that women are reduced to their sexual body parts; you hear about examples in the media all the time. This research takes it a step further and finds that this perception spills over to everyday women, too", lead researcher Sarah Gervais said.