Men apparently will not remember the news when a sexy female anchor reports it. Well, they may recall some of the details. But researchers seem pretty sure that, at least, sexy news anchors distract male viewers. Surprising, right? Perhaps. Science has an uncanny ability to inform about things that we already know. This latest research tidbit comes courtesy of a team of two Indiana University scholars who devised an experiment that found that "emphasis on the sexual attractiveness" of female anchors has the quaint ability of distracting "memory formation" among males.
Writing at Miller-McCune magazine, Tom Jacobs breaks down their experiment, which consisted of creating two versions of a short newscast featuring a participating 24-year-old female anchor. In one version, this anchor wore "a tight-fitting dark blue jacket and skirt that accented her waist-to-hip ratio" along with red lipstick and a necklace. In another, she was attired in "a shapeless and loose-fitting dark blue jacket and skirt" and was lipstick and necklace-less." 400 participants were then assigned to watch a "newscast" of the anchor reading news stories and then were asked multiple-choice questions about the content of the stories she read.
The results? "Researchers found the men recalled 'significantly more information watching the unsexualized anchor deliver news than her sexualized version,'" Jacobs writes, noting that women's answers were unaffected by the change in dress. The reason--researchers speculate--is that men favor "visual over verbal processing," which lead them to focus "more on the broadcaster’s appearance than on the material she was delivering."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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