Virtual women reveal more skin, regardless of body proportions
In the virtual world of Second Life, female avatars expose substantially more skin than males, independent of their virtual body proportions, according to research published December 26 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Matthieu Guitton and colleagues from Laval University, Canada. The human tendency to cover up stems from climatic, environmental, physical and cultural constraints, so measuring people's propensity to reveal skin can be difficult in the real world. To study human behavior free of at least some of these constraints, the researchers analyzed how male and female avatars in the virtual, 3- dimensional world of Second Life dressed. Second Life offers users options to choose the gender, appearance and attire of their virtual avatars, and users can select clothing from several items created in this virtual world, rather than being restricted to a predefined costume.
They found that out of over 400 virtual people studied, 71% of male avatars covered between 75-100% of their skin, while only 5% of females did. In contrast, 47% of the virtual females they studied covered between 25-49% of their skin, compared to 9% of males. The amount of skin covered was independent of traditional gender-specific measures of physical attractiveness for virtual avatars, such as waist-chest ratios for females. According to the study, "These findings have implications for understanding how sex specific aspects of skin disclosure influence human social interactions in both virtual and real settings."
Guitton adds, "Virtual settings provide a unique tool to study human behavior unhindered by physical and environmental constraints.This tool enabled us to find a dramatic gender difference in the propensity to disclose naked skin."
Source: Public Library of Science
- Virtual women reveal more skin, regardless of body proportionsfrom Science BlogThu, 27 Dec 2012, 9:30:26 EST
- Virtual women reveal more skin, regardless of body proportionsfrom Science DailyThu, 27 Dec 2012, 8:00:29 EST
- Virtual women reveal more skin, regardless of body proportionsfrom PhysorgWed, 26 Dec 2012, 17:20:09 EST
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Time management skills keep animals primed for survival
- A clear, molecular view of how human color vision evolved
- Study on world's biggest animal finds more than 1 population in the southeastern Pacific
- Computational clues into the structure of a promising energy conversion catalyst
- Yellowstone's thermal springs -- their colors unveiled
- Study supports the theory that men are idiots
- Kids' cartoon characters twice as likely to die as counterparts in films for adults
- Herd mentality: Are we programmed to make bad decisions?
- Evidence of Viking/Norse metalworking in Arctic Canada
- NASA Goddard instrument makes first detection of organic matter on Mars