Research suggesting that the problem with pornography is not that it ‘objectifies’ its subjects but reduces them to the ‘beasts’
Matthew Hutson describes the work of psychologist Kurt Gray, whose research into how people objectify each other has yielded intriguing findings:
In one experiment, subjects saw a photograph and a short description of a man or a woman. The photo showed either just the head or also the shirtless torso. When presented shirtless, targets were seen as having less competence. This is just what you might expect from research on objectification: we’re easily induced to see others as mere objects, pieces of meat without thoughts of their own. But it wasn’t that simple. Shirtless targets weren’t seen as devoid of all thought. They were actually seen as being more capable of emotions and sensations than their less exposed selves. They didn’t have less mental life but a different mental life. Objectification is apparently a misnomer.
To explore the issue further, the researchers turned to the book XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits
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