This month on the Internet reports emerged that scientists had completed a new study on sexual arousal and the perceived differences in this area for men and women.
As The Guardian shares, the research specifically looked into the theory that men are more inclined to watch porn because they’re more stimulated by the “visual” than women are.
For the study, which was completed at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany, “erotic visual stimuli” were presented to men and women of assorted sexual orientation. The brain activity of these people was then measured.
And by George!, the results found that women are just as likely to be turned on by sexual imagery (or porn) as men are.
The paper states:
“Following a thorough statistical review of all significant neuroimaging studies, we offer strong quantitative evidence that the neuronal response to visual sexual stimuli, contrary to the widely accepted view, is independent of biological sex.”
In a nutshell: the belief women are less attracted to the visual is a bunch of hooey.
“At least at the level of neural activity … the brains of men and women respond the same way to porn,” said Hamid Noori, co-author of the research – as shared by The Guardian.
Importantly, however, Noori went on to point out that this seemingly misunderstood ‘difference’ between women and men doesn’t come down to a lack of interest in the visual on the part of women.
It’s much more likely linked to shame.
“Female sexuality has quite a lot of stigma around it,” he said.
“Maybe the main reason is that for the woman there are secondary inhibitory effects that keep them away from expressing what they really feel.”
In other words, if women are not seeking out porn it could also be because they feel less free to do so without judgement.
That, and the fact that historically, much of the content out there hasn’t really been designed for the female experience – although, that is shifting.
His comments highlight just how important studies like this are. If in 2019 we need a paper to point out that women are equally as turned on by erotic imagery as men are, it’s clear there’s a way to go in regard to how we see the sexuality of women.