Some new research from University of Nebraska-Lincoln indicates that the way in which people see women is, in fact, different from how they see men. Basically, people have two different ways of looking at something: globally or locally. We either see something as an entire thing, or as a collection of parts: a fact exploited all the time in practice by optical illusionists. The research seems to indicate that both men and women view women locally, as a collection of parts, and view men globally.
“We always hear that women are reduced to their sexual body parts; you hear about examples in the media all the time. This research takes it a step further and finds that this perception spills over to everyday women, too,” Gervais said. “The subjects in the study’s images were everyday, ordinary men and women … the fact that people are looking at ordinary men and women and remembering women’s body parts better than their entire bodies was very interesting.”