Women ogle the bodies of naked females for far longer than their male partners, a study revealed yesterday.
University researchers discovered that while men stare at the faces of people in photographs and fine art paintings, women are more interested in looking at their breasts.
In heterosexual couples shown a photo or a painting of a man and a woman, both preferred to look at the female form, but women admired the figure, whereas men tended to stare at the face.
Boffins at the University of Bristol examined eye movement and found women looked in fewer places when presented with an image, but focussed mainly on the female form.
Men, on the other hand, made many more eye movements, scanning the entire image, but paused only to stare at faces rather than boobs.
The shock new findings prove that women in a relationship are much more interested in checking out other women than their men are.
Felix Mercer Moss, PhD student in the Department of Computer Science who led the study, said: “The study represents the most compelling evidence yet that, despite occupying the same world, the viewpoints of men and women can, at times, be very different.
“Our findings have important implications for both past and future eye movement research together with future technological applications.”
Another team of researchers, in a poll of 2,000 women, found more than half admitted they spent more time looking at other women than they do men, to check out the ‘opposition’.
The beach is the place where most female ogling goes on, with 80 per cent of those polled saying they love having a good look at other women when they are sunbathing.
Women check out wedding rings, cellulite and clothes on complete strangers, to compare with themselves.
Monitoring eye movements is a useful tool to perceive the world through the eyes of others, and special tracking software was used to see where the test couples were looking.
The University of Bristol researchers suggest that men and women look at different things because they interpret the world differently.
Women have an increased sensitivity to any threats to their relationship, and therefore instinctively ‘check out’ any other women they see.
Men, on the other hand, are more likely to make direct eye contact, rather than stare at a nude model’s boobs, because it is the best way to detect any possible threat or danger.
Eye movements are a tool used to collect visual information, which then colours an individual’s perception of the world.
Equally, when individuals have different interpretations of the world, this in turn affects the information they seek and, consequently, the places they look.
The report concludes: “Women and men are different.
“As humans are highly visual animals, these differences should be reflected in the pattern of eye movements they make when interacting with the world.
“The most striking of these was that women looked away and usually below many objects of interest, particularly when rating images in terms of their potency.
“We also found reliable differences correlated with the images’ semantic content, the observers’ personality, and how the images were semantically evaluated.
“While men and women may live in the same environment, what they see in this environment is reliably different.
“Our findings have important implications for both past and future eye movement research while confirming the significant role individual differences play in visual attention.”
‘Eye Movements to Natural Images as a Function of Sex and Personality’, by Felix Mercer Moss, Roland Baddeley and Nishan Canagarajah is published in scientific journal PLoS ONE.