Women view sex in advertising as being cheap and unappealing, unless the sexual imagery is paired with high-priced consumer goods, a new study has found.
"Sexual economics theory offers a reason why: The use of sexual imagery is inimical to women's vested interest in sex being portrayed as infrequent, special and rare," University of Minnesota researcher Kathleen Vohs said in a release about the study, which was published in the journal Psychological Science.
The researchers had a group of women memorize a 10-digit code — a test designed to prevent them from thinking too deeply about ads they were shown selling two watches, one priced at $10 and one that sold for $1,250. After reciting the code, the women were asked about the ads.
Overall, women rated the cheap watch ad negatively, the researchers said.
In another part of the study, women did not rate the watch ads differently when a mountain range was used as imagery, instead of sex.