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Perrie Juran

Study: Virtual Women Show Twice as Much 'Skin' as Men

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"The human tendency to reveal or cover naked skin reflects a competition between the individual propensity for social interactions related to sexual appeal and interpersonal touch versus climatic, environmental, physical, and cultural constraints. However, due to the ubiquitous nature of these constraints, isolating on a large scale the spontaneous human tendency to reveal naked skin has remained impossible. Using the online 3-dimensional virtual world of Second Life, we examined spontaneous human skin-covering behavior unhindered by real-world climatic, environmental, and physical variables. Analysis of hundreds of avatars revealed that virtual females disclose substantially more naked skin than virtual males. This phenomenon was not related to avatar hypersexualization as evaluated by measurement of sexually dimorphic body proportions. Furthermore, analysis of skin-covering behavior of a population of culturally homogeneous avatars indicated that the propensity of female avatars to reveal naked skin persisted despite explicit cultural norms promoting less revealing attire. These findings have implications for further understanding how sex-specific aspects of skin disclosure influence human social interactions in both virtual and real settings."

 

Virtually Naked: Virtual Environment Reveals Sex-Dependent Nature of Skin Disclosure

 

ETA:  DISCLAIMER:  This study does not reflect my personal views nor do I necessarily agree with everything in this study.  I posted it because I thought it would be of interest to every one here.

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Yes they do.  I can't speak for all women but i have a couple of ideas about why that is the case. 

1) Virtual Women do not have to fear that they will be raped no matter how scantily dressed they are.

2) Virtual Women can make their shapes look exactly as they want them to appear.

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In completely unrelated news:

Study: Scientists Discover Women Wear Skirts and Tank Tops

I'd put in a link to it but all it says is, "Well, chah..."

 

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1) did you include sims like kop, where its virtually written into the rules that women can't dress normally, whereas men can dress however? 2) in virtual world we don't have to worry about skin problems... It's all perfect so we FINALLY get to live up to your standards. 3) some of us come here to dress like that because though we'd like to in rl, omg never! So it's freedom to dress like those ***** on the magazines, rail thin, xcept boobs n butts, perfect skin and more admiration than judgement. And to think, i usually overthink stuff. 8D

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kattatonia Wickentower wrote:

Yes they do.  I can't speak for all women but i have a couple of ideas about why that is the case. 

1) Virtual Women do not have to fear that they will be raped no matter how scantily dressed they are.

2) Virtual Women can make their shapes look exactly as they want them to appear.

I'm curious if you read the study. 

I'm also surprised that you would bring up what is the penultimate in the objectification of women here.  We could bring up the whole issue of emotional abuse that can and does happen in SL.  But I hope this thread does not side track to focus on just this issue.

I guess I'd have to ask around all the women I know in SL to find out if it is really the freedom from this fear that is a or the primary reason they dress so scantily.   I seriously doubt that is it though.

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Perrie Juran wrote:

I guess I'd have to ask around all the women I know in SL to find out if it is really the freedom from this fear that is a or the primary reason they dress so scantily.

Sometimes I do enjoy walking in SL beaches in tiny bikinis and admire the nicely tanned skin on my avatar. :matte-motes-big-grin:

Not having to be afraid of anything bad happening is also a factor.

And there is also the possibility - occasionally - to hear some nice comments from the other gender, feeding one's vanity. :smileytongue:  :smileywink:

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You never have to worry about your skin or the weather in a virtual world. Also there is no difference here in comfort between a short skirt or jeans. I think most people want to dress up into something pretty, and most women would think a flirty red dress with a deep cut out is more beautiful than some normal everyday clothes they also wear in RL every day.

The study could also be about that virtual people tend to dress up more often in fairy costumes than people in RL.

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Thaks Perrie, I'd only seen tongue in cheek reports about this survey and had been looking for the full report to get more context on what they were really looking into.

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I may be wrong, but I think you're all missing a couple of things:

In SL, you can make your body appear however you want...and the sexuality is VERY VERY loose here. Plus, a lot of the fashions, I think, are designed that way. I don't know of many shops that sell pants and long tops. Most sell really short skins, stockings and low cut tops...again, all my opinion.

Also, a good percentage (and I have no numbers only my personal research) of females in SL are played by men. What guy wouldn't want their girl to be dressed all sexy, showing off lots of skin??? So, of course, they dress that way too.

Again..just my opinion...:matte-motes-sunglasses-2:

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Hmm, I have to say I am interested in reading this and will do so very soon. My immediate thoughts though revolve around three important differences between Real Life and Virtual Life and their impacts or considerations in this study:

1. Did they confirm the Real Life gender of all the Virtual Life avatars they observed and their respective ages?

2. How can they make Real Life deductions from Virtual Life behaviors if things like body image, personal grooming, perfect weather, face lights, etc. are all instantaneous, consistent, and available in one social setting and not the other?

3. Did they consider personal self-image as the only factor for wearing less or did they somehow incorporate other Real Life factors such as social expectations, personal safety, etc.?

All of these things came to mind because I see the point of the synopsis but at the same time can't see how they might make Real Life claims. For instance, as a Real Life woman in my mid-20s, I wear cloths that fit the occasion, location, and personal intent. For example, I would not wear a business suit to the beach or my bikini in some city slum. On the other hand, my avi is much more liberal in dressing because I can TP, use my ignore button, or ban people from my house if I feel uncomfortable in the setting or threatened by someone else.

Sooo.... those are my immediate thoughts before reading it. I could be missing the whole point of the study too but it was fun to think about it in this way too. I will keep my fingers crossed for a good read!

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

In
completely
unrelated news:

Study: Scientists Discover Women Wear Skirts and Tank Tops

I'd put in a link to it but all it says is, "Well, chah..."

 

jejejejjejeje (:

 

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Tex Monday wrote:

I may be wrong, but I think you're all missing a couple of things:

In SL, you can make your body appear however you want...and the sexuality is VERY VERY loose here. Plus, a lot of the fashions, I think, are designed that way. I don't know of many shops that sell pants and long tops. Most sell really short skins, stockings and low cut tops...again, all my opinion.

Also, a good percentage (and I have no numbers only my personal research) of females in SL are played by men. What guy wouldn't want their girl to be dressed all sexy, showing off lots of skin??? So, of course, they dress that way too.

Again..just my opinion...:matte-motes-sunglasses-2:

I know of several very good shops that DO sell long pants and long tops and I myself own several outfits that DO NOT reveal a lot of skin. I think you must not be looking at the right shops. LOL. Sometimes I DO enjoy dressing sexy but most of the time I dress very conservatively. :-) That's just MY opinion. *grins*

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The study seemed pretty carefully done, it seemed to me. I skimmed some of it but I think I got the highlights. To 'qualify' as a valid test subject an avatar had to be human, adult, and at least 90 days old in SL.  They'd drop a study avatar into a region and take pix of all the qualifying avatars within range, then move to another region. They then used a program to determine the amount of bare skin showed by each avatar and compared the results male to female.

They paid particular attention to regions involved in Star Wars RP, because they thought that would give them something approaching cultural homogenity, all the people there being presumably part of a Star Wars culture. How valid that premise is I've no clue. Females showed more than twice as much bare skin as did males. By comparison the characters in the movies themselves were approximately equal in that regard.

One of the theories about this I thought was interesting. Females tend to use touching in interactions more than do males. In a virtual world, actual touching is not possible. They theorized that showing skin was a way to signal the sort of attention and interest that touching does. Could be.

 

ETA: I was still thinking and remembered the old Leon Redbone song, "I Want to be Seduced", which had a line I always liked—"I want a woman to make a point of touching me when she speaks"

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I would like to see a study on why "females" here want to appear to be overweight. My guess it's a fashion trend. Much like the sad face squinty eyed alien look. It's not uncommon in a crowd to see "females" that nearly have the same appearance. Some take it to disproportionate levels. Years ago they worried about if what they wore made their backsides look to big. Now it's how big can I make my backside. Maybe a fashion expert could shed some light on why that look has become popular with the "female" crowd.

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I blame lack of choice in the marketplace. With my avatars, even if they're not the same shape as me wearing "sexy" clothing makes me feel like I'm lying to myself. I tried looking for some female viking clothes that weren't skimpy and was disappointed by the selection; I think I only came across three that didn't look like a Nordic bikini. Sometimes I've been tempted to buy male clothing since it tends to be a lot less revealing.

 

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I've always been intrigued by two contradictory social norms in western societies:

1. Women are expected to show a lot more skin, but are required to cover more.

2. Men are expected to cover up more skin, but are allowed to show almost everything.

 

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Nuhai Ling wrote:

 

1. Did they confirm the Real Life gender of all the Virtual Life avatars they observed and their respective ages?

2. How can they make Real Life deductions from Virtual Life behaviors if things like body image, personal grooming, perfect weather, face lights, etc. are all instantaneous, consistent, and available in one social setting and not the other?

3. Did they consider personal self-image as the only factor for wearing less or did they somehow incorporate other Real Life factors such as social expectations, personal safety, etc.?


1. No they didn't confirm the real life gender of the person behind the avatar, but they do point this out in the report.

2. They are looking at behaviours and patterns of behaviour, they cite that in Second Life the issues of climate, environment and physical variables are unhindered in Second Life.

3. They look at issues such as body shape and roleplaying environments. Body shape does not seem to be a factor but the gender of an avatar (rather than the person behind the avatar) does seem to be a factor.

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BigThickNick wrote:

I would like to see a study on why "females" here want to appear to be overweight. My guess it's a fashion trend. Much like the sad face squinty eyed alien look. It's not uncommon in a crowd to see "females" that nearly have the same appearance. Some take it to disproportionate levels. Years ago they worried about if what they wore made their backsides look to big. Now it's how big can I make my backside. Maybe a fashion expert could shed some light on why that look has become popular with the "female" crowd.

Finally getting back to this.  Silly RL keeping me away from SL.

Most of my comments in this post are generic to the thread though I am keying off of your post.

I always smile when I see what I refer to as an 'honest avatar,"  for instance a middle aged or older man with a bit of a paunch and a skin to match.  Or a full figured woman.  It was also actually quite recently that I saw in RL a woman who had the popular in SL what I call 'saddle hips,' the uber wide hips with the uber wide crotch.  She was actually quite attractive.  I almost went up to her and said hello.

As to the article in general, as has been mentioned, the one thing that is problematic is not knowing the RL gender behind the Ava's.  It could be that statistically speaking, the larger the sampling gets the less of a problem this would be, that the margin of error decreases.

Personally speaking, I don't think the number of cross gendered  (trans gendered?) Avatars is as high as some make it out to be.  It's simply the huge amount of attention this topic gets that gives it that appearance.  Of course all we have are guesses.  The only ones who could possibly have any realistic idea would be Linden Lab itself.

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Amie Kaestner wrote:

I blame lack of choice in the marketplace. With my avatars, even if they're not the same shape as me wearing "sexy" clothing makes me feel like I'm lying to myself. I tried looking for some female viking clothes that weren't skimpy and was disappointed by the selection; I think I only came across three that didn't look like a Nordic bikini. Sometimes I've been tempted to buy male clothing since it tends to be a lot less revealing.

 

Lack of selection in the marketplace, i often have a hard time trying to find even the simplest style of tops. Which don't give the illusion of my avatars chest area hanging all out, or finding the right pair of jeans which don't expose underwear. Or even leave my midriff completely on show.  A lot of the fashions and mostly popular styles, are designed to create an overtly sexual avatar look. More variety for everyone’s taste would sooner fix the problem. I also feel like i'm lying to myself as well, whenever i end up having to wear one or two of those items, i don’t dress provocatively in rl to go to shops to get a carton of milk or see friends, so would not really have my avatar dress that way either. 

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Funny, but I shop all the time in SL and have no trouble finding normal clothing that covers the body to whatever degree I need.

If I want a bikini I can get one with ease, if I want a burqa I can get one with ease. If I want a sweater, jeans, skirt, dress, hat, shorts, blouse - revealing, covering, whatever. No problems.

People who blame Marketplace might want to use different search terms or look at different shops. Its easy to find any sort of fashion.

If all you're finding is tramp wear, that's because its what you're looking for. So you can pretend or tell yourself you weren't looking for it and them try to blame the system, or you can just start looking for something else.

There is a -lot- of tramp wear in SL shopping, but that's not all that's out there, not by a wide margin. I have no trouble spending way more than I should on clothes in SL of varying cuts.

 

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:

Funny, but I shop all the time in SL and have no trouble finding normal clothing that covers the body to whatever degree I need.

sSig_agreed.gif

 

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Baloney. The vast majority of clothing available on MP and in SL is in fact tramp wear. Yes, it's not too hard to find stuff you like that is NOT slutty, but if one just goes to MP and shops, one gets for the most part clothing that would be inappropriate in RL. I give you the first page of Apparel>Women's>Women's Tops>Sweaters>L$100-L$500 here. There's like one or two things on that page you could wear to the grocery store.

To tell someone that if she's finding tramp wear it is because that's what she's looking for is not only insulting, it's total BS. Instead, you might have given her some search suggestions. Mine would be to just keep looking at stuff you like and build up a list of shops that work for you.

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