Hey! Look me in the eye...and only the eye.
While you think about your answer, try this on: According to world-renowned "usability" expert Jakob Nielson, if you're a woman you tend to focus on the subject's face. If you're a man, however, you're likely to hone in on the face and the crotch...regardless of whether the picture subject is a woman or another man.
Hey, don't kill the messenger. I'm just sharing here.
In a demonstration for online news editors studying the best news page layout designs, reported on by the Online Journalism Review earlier this year, Nielson conducted an eye-tracking test on 255 New Yorkers - 58% of them female, 42% male. No scientific explanation was given as to why men seem drawn to nether regions in pics, and women seem content to keep their eyes above the shoulders.
Among the different photographs studied during the one- to two-hour-long test, was one of Major League Baseball legend George Brett, bat in hand, mid swing.
This picture, from the OJR Web site, shows where "on" Brett male test subjects looked, and where female test subjects looked.
Hmmm. Fellas, I can't speak for you, but I'm pretty sure I don't spend any time ogling goodie bags. I can't give you scientific proof. You'll just have to take my word for it.
When I think about all the people I encounter every day, I admit I tend to give most of them the once over at first sight - you know, the quick head to toe glance. But focusing on the nether regions? Nah. I'd like to know a little more about the guys who took this eye-tracking test.
At any rate, if the test results weren't unsettling already, according to OJR men don't just eyeball crotches in photographs of other humans. "We" do it with pictures of animals too. Again, I'm just the messenger here. But OJR says "Men tend to fixate more on areas of private anatomy on animals as well, as evidenced when users were directed to browse the American Kennel Club site."
Just what I needed: something else to feel self conscious about. Already I'll be spending a little less time studying photographs of male athletes on news Web sites - note to self, from now on skip pictures of cyclists, football players, swimmers, and track & field types, and any other men who wear tights or grape smugglers. Now, next time I see my dog licking himself, I think I'll leave the room and give him some privacy. Wouldn't want him to think I was staring. Nor would I want to think, if he could talk, that he'd stop and tell me "Why don't you take a picture already? It lasts longer."