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Why sex sells

Psychologists and neuroscientists explain how the human brain perceives the naked body, how babies, kittens and puppies influence it on the Internet, and what role the female breast plays in the mechanism of love and product promotion.

A person evaluates the mind of other creatures according to two criteria: a) the ability to feel and perceive, and b) the ability to think and act. These parameters are not equivalent. The more sensuality / receptivity we bestow on someone, the less we appreciate the ability to think and act. And vice versa. This is a zero sum game.

What happens when a person removes clothes? Scientists from Yale and the University of Maryland have figured this out with a series of experiments on their students. The subjects were shown photographs of two attractive young people - Erin and Aaron. On one pair of photos were their faces. On the other, Aaron was shown bare-breasted, and Erin was in a bikini.

After looking at the photographs, students were asked to characterize Erin and Aaron. There were six questions in the questionnaire. Scientists asked about the ability to think and act ("How do you rateher / his will power? Moral qualities? The ability to plan? ") And the ability to feel and perceive (" What feelings does he / she feel? Pleasure? Hunger? Desire? ").

The answers to these questions spoke much more not about Erin and Aaron, but about the subjects themselves. When looking at the top pair of photos where only faces are visible, the students rated Erin and Aaron in terms of action. When looking at the body, they immediately switched to feelings. The same models, the same facial expression - but the perception changed by 180 degrees.

In another experiment, students were sent to a dating site and asked to rate people first by their attractiveness, and then by their intellectual and volitional qualities, like when hired. The same story was repeated: the participants in the experiment evaluated the people in the photographs either by sensuality / sensitivity, or by intelligence and will.

A similar phenomenon - facialism - psychologists discovered in the 80s. Faithism of media, when depicting men, is focused on faces, and on women, on bodies. At the same time, people of any sex associate the first with intellect and will, and the second are perceived as inanimate sexual objects.

If you dig even deeper, you can recall the philosopher Kant, who said that those to whom our sexual appetite is directed, turn into inanimate objects for us. Kant coined the term "objectification" (depersonification) for this. In fact, everything is somewhat more complicated. According to scientists from the Universities of Yale and Maryland, when looking at the naked body, it is not depersonification that takes place, but redistribution of perception. We still perceive man as an animated being, but in terms of feelings: pain, pleasure, desire.

And although everything is not as scary as Kant and the psychologists of the 80s described, the redistribution of perception also has its consequences. The simplest example is the hiring of a woman by a male boss. With the slightest sexual interest, a man loses the ability to evaluate the business qualities of a woman. It's amazing how little we need (just a piece of a naked body) to switch to another wave.

About female breasts

More recently, neuroscientists Larry Young and Brian Alexander released the book "The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction." It tells a lot of interesting things about what really lies behind our sexual behavior.

Of all mammals, only human males are excited by the female breasts.And human females are the only ones whose mammary glands increase when they grow up, regardless of the presence of pregnancy. We are also the only ones who have sex face to face.
Female breast as a switch of the male brain is not a myth or a joke. At the sight of a female bust, pleasure centers in the male brain inhibit the activity of rational thinking centers.

The love of a woman for a man has developed out of love for children. At birth, the neurotransmitters oxytocin and dopamine are secreted in a woman’s brain. They stimulate the production of milk and cause a feeling of pleasure in caring for the baby. The baby’s face, smell and voice are imprinted in the mother’s memory and are associated with pleasant sensations.
When dealing with men, the same mechanism works. Breast stimulation during sex causes emissions of oxytocin and dopamine, and as a result, the face, smell and voice of the partner are associated with pleasure. A feeling of love arises (or is strengthened).

About kittens and babies

The Internet has changed the life of the entire planet. Thanks to him, we have email, remote work, online shopping, torrents and viral advertising.And trillions of photos and videos of deadly cute kittens, puppies and babies. What is the use of them, except for a portion of a good mood?

In 2009, Japanese scientists from the University of Hiroshima accidentally discovered that images of babies and young animals increased concentration. They rechecked their hypothesis using three experiments and were convinced that this is indeed the case. Children's images cause a reflex reaction of emotion, the mood rises, and this, in turn, leads to an increase in concentration.

So if you are caught searching for scrolling adorable pictures instead of work, you can declare with a clear conscience that you have been doing cognitive self-tuning.

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