Bernard and his colleagues used a test where they presented pictures of scantily clad men and women in sexualized poses. Each participant watched the pictures appear one by one on a computer screen. Some of the pictures were right side up and some were upside down. After each picture, there was a second of black screen, and then the participant was shown two images. They were supposed to choose the one that matched the one they had just seen.

People recognized right-side-up men better than upside-down men, suggesting that they were seeing the sexualized men as people. But the women in underwear weren’t any harder to recognize when they were upside down — which is consistent with the idea that people see sexy women as objects. There was no difference between male and female participants.