You would expect men and women to look at sexual photographs differently, as there is the common concept that the male and female sexuality are very different.
Many researchers say that the current flood of porn and nudity in media, from magazines to TV and Internet, has something pervert and somehow misogynist. Many believe that men are indeed turned on by watching nude female bodies, as their sexuality is primarily visual. Just by glancing at a woman's breasts, buttocks or genitalia and a man has already an erection.
On the other hand, women have been considered as quite indifferent to men nude images, as they are considered more auditive and tactile in their sexuality.
Women would be turned on rather by skilled touch and whispered sweet nonsense than just watching Adonis-like bodies. That's why male nude photos have been regarded by many as directed rather to homosexual males than to women.
But a new approach surprisingly discovered that men are more likely to first look at faces rather than to other parts, sex-related, of a nude body. On the other hand, the female subjects looked longer than men at images of couples having sex. "Men looked at the female face much more than women, and both looked at the genitals comparably," said lead author Heather Rupp of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University. "The eye-tracking data suggested what women paid most attention to was dependent upon their hormonal state," Rupp said.
The research team also spotted a link between the hormonal charge and sex drive of the female subjects. "Women using hormonal contraceptives looked more at the genitals, while women who were not using hormonal contraceptives paid more attention to contextual elements of the photographs."
The findings are detailed in the journal Hormones and Behavior.