Art for Men and Women

Art for Men and Women

Content: Do men and women see art differently? Listen to our podcast and find out the truth!

Voiced by: Ekaterina Vasilieva

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Scientists have been curious whether men and women see art differently. Several provocative experiments have showed that there's indeed a definite difference in how the sexes view the works of art. As it turns out men tend to pay more attention to the artist, while women focus on the work of art itself.
There once was a very interesting experiment, conducted by a group of scientists. About 500 men and women were asked to judge two unknown paintings and to read a biography of the artist who had supposedly painted them. The biography was fictitious but none of the experiment's participants knew that. One group of people read the biography that said the artist was very experienced, while the other group read the one that said the artist was an amateur and a beginner.
The participants were then asked what they thought about the artist and his artworks, and whether they would like to purchase the paintings. The scientists learned the following. Of course, both men and women had a more favorable attitude towards the authentic and experienced artist and liked his paintings better. But answering the question about the willingness to purchase the artwork, men based their decisions on the information about the artist rather than the merits of the paintings. Women on the other hand were inclined to actually evaluate the work of art in question.
How could this phenomenon be explained? According to Dr. Lise Eliot from Rosalind Franklin University, there are no differences between male and female brains that would account for such different approaches to evaluating art. Most likely this happens because it's usually women who take art-classes, consequently they have a better understanding of techniques and styles. And perhaps when it comes to purchasing art men consider works of art an investment, and women buy art for aesthetic pleasure.