Men distracted from news by sexy newsreaders



Male viewers can get so distracted by watching attractive newsreaders they can't even remember what the headlines were, researchers have claimed.


Academics from Indiana University say that while watching a hot female newsreader makes women remember more, it has the opposite effect on men.


In fact blokes (men) were said to remember 'significantly' less information when watching a sexy newsreader.


The boffins claim it's because men's brains are overwhelmed when presented with sexual imagery and are therefore unable to process any more information.


I'm sorry, did somebody say something… I was too busy looking at that photo.


Researchers Elizabeth Grabe and Lelia Samson conduced test by showing 400 people one of two almost identical news broadcasts recorded by the same presenter and asking them questions about it.


In one of the clips the 24-year-old presenter was wearing shapeless and loose-fitting clothes with no make-up and in the other she was wearing a tight outfit with red lipstick.


While women remembered more of what the 'sexy' version of the news anchor had said, men recalled more from the unglamorous incarnation.

The 'auto-cutie' effect: Men are so distracted by attractive newsreaders they can't remember the headlines


By Graham Smith - 26th January 2011


It won't come as much of a surprise to women, but men are distracted by attractive newsreaders.


In fact, the more attractive a female newsreader is, the less likely male viewers are to remember what she had been saying, according to a new study.


The research follows heavy criticism in recent years that many television newsreaders are simply overpaid 'auto-cuties' lacking in journalistic experience.


The strategy of hiring attractive women to read the headlines boosts ratings figures, it is claimed.


But the flip side of this is many male viewers won't remember the news they have just been informed about.


Writing in the journal Communication Research, Indiana University students Maria Elizabeth Grabe and Lelia Samson staged two versions of their own news broadcast.


Both versions featured the same 24-year-old female newsreader. In the first, she wore a tight-fitting dark blue jacket, a skirt that 'accentuated her waist-to-hip ratio', bright red lipstick and a necklace.


In the second, the dressed in a shapeless and loose-fitting dark blue jacket and skirt, wore no lipstick or a necklace.


In both segments, she read local news and was filmed in a 'medium-long shot' revealing the top half of her body including her upper thighs.


Four hundred volunteers were then randomly asked to watch one of the versions and then filled out questionnaires revealing what they thought about the presenter.


Included were four multiple-choice questions about her appearance and ten about the news she had been reading.


Women remembered more about what the 'sexy' newsreader had been saying, than her less made-up counterpart.


Men, on the other hand, recalled 'significantly more information watching the unsexualised anchor deliver news than her sexualised version'.


The researchers concluded that we find it easier to process information visually, and that men's brains are overwhelmed when presented with sexual imagery, although they didn't study how women would react when confronted with an attractive male newsreader.


Last year, newsreader Katie Derham fiercely defended the role of newsreaders following criticism that they were 'auto-cuties'.


She said: 'With rolling news coverage nowadays you have to be on air constantly -and it is the overpaid airheads in the nice suits who have to hold everything together.


'We do have to think on our feet and we do have to have journalistic training, and professionalism, and common sense - because otherwise the product would be c*** and we would be taken off-air.'