New Research: Sense of Touch Influences Gender Perception

In a recent study published in the January issue of Psychological Science, researchers found a correlation between the sense of touch and perception of gender. In the study, the subjects were shown a variety of gender-neutral faces while holding either a hard or a soft ball.

Those holding the hard ball were more likely to judge the faces as male, while those holding the soft ball judged them as female. Similarly, when the subjects were asked to write their answers on a piece of paper with carbon paper beneath it, those that were asked to write hard enough to make a copy judged the faces as male, and those that were asked to write lightly judged them as female.

According to the researchers, ” the results suggest that knowledge of social categories such as gender is partly carried in the body, just like other types of knowledge…there may be some bodily truth to the stereotypes that men are tough and women are tender”.

The original press release can be found here.

About Michaela


Michaela is a recent Seven Sisters graduate with a self-designed degree in Sexuality Studies. When she's not blogging, you'll find her teaching Health and Wellness and A Cappella to high school students, helping women find properly fitting bras, and working as an editor on a documentary. She hopes to continue her education one day with a PhD in Feminist Anthropology.