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Master of Science (MS)
Eye gaze patterns of cisgender men and women were observed while they viewed photographs of transgender and cisgender women. Past scene perception research suggested that body regions that are consistent or inconsistent with one’s expectations for transgender women’s bodies could attract eye gaze while viewing a transgender woman. We did observe a tendency for participants to view body regions that were consistent with their expectations for transgender women’s bodies more than inconsistent body regions. Evolutionary psychological research suggested eye gaze should be drawn to chests. If a woman’s chest area is important to assess for mate selection related reasons, participants should have viewed the chest more than other regions and male participants should view the chest more than female participants. We found mixed support for evolutionary theory. In some analyses it appeared the chest did attract eye gaze more than other less evolutionarily important body regions while in others it did not. Contradicting evolutionary psychological theory, we did not observe a tendency for male viewers to look more than female viewers at a transgender or cisgender woman’s chest.
Western Washington University
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Skarsgard, Naomi, "The Role of Cognitive and Evolutionary Processes in Guiding Gaze Patterns While Viewing Transgender Women" (2016). WWU Masters Thesis Collection. 526.