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27 September 2012

Using gender-specific objects backfires

Looking at gender-specific items - such as high heels for women or electric shavers for men - can influence how a person perceives the gender of someone with androgynous features.

Looking at gender-specific items - such as high heels for women or electric shavers for men - can influence how a person perceives the gender of someone with androgynous (neither specifically male or female) facial features, according to a new study.

Previous studies have shown that continuous exposure to visual stimuli leads to aftereffects caused by repeated stimulation of specific brain pathways. For example, people who look at a red screen for a long time are more likely to perceive a white screen as being green, which is the perceptual opposite of red. There are two possible explanations for the finding of this new study, the researchers said.

 
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