It seems like such an obviously false claim, but I keep running into the claim that men are "Wired differently" than women and therefore can't control their lust.
The claim in conversation was "However, at the end of the day, men's brains are wired a certain way, and the only thing they can do is avert their gaze if they're really trying hard to respect a woman that they're talking to but are getting distracted by her looks." (This forum thread).
I want to refute the idea that men are innately "distracted by [women's] looks" because they are "wired [that] way" and therefore incapable of respecting a woman's opinion or having a proper conversation unless she's covered from head to toe. However, I'd like to do it properly, citing actual studies, since this is a widely-held claim and tied in ultimately with religion.
Anthropology Matters cites a 2000 study on muslim women's opinions:
'Men can't control themselves' [...] Women who wear hajib [...] believe it is men's sexual desires that are being controlled
Men are also responsible to control their eyes and minds. However, I think many women are unaware of how difficult this is for men [...] Men and women are wired differently and we women may never understand what men go through."
Funny thing is I have taken classes on modesty and have discovered that men are wired different than women. It is a scientific fact that a mans optical nerve is directly linked to his penial nerve and that is why he gets hard when he sees a womans skin"
From a forum.
Because men and women are “wired” differently when it comes to the human body. The fact is, it doesn’t take much visual stimulus at all for guys to become sexually aroused. The sight of the female body, even just a little bit and even if it’s a complete stranger, can trigger sexual thoughts instantly. This might be difficult for women to understand, but it’s absolutely true. [...] Remember, the sight of a woman’s body is so powerful for men, that unless they’re well-trained and highly disciplined, they’ll have a difficult time refraining from sexual thoughts. [...] Whether it’s conscious or unconscious, if you present yourself in a way that is sexually revealing, even in the slightest of ways, many men will want your body for pleasure without regard for you as a person. Many men will see you as sexually loose. Other men will be constantly distracted with sexual temptations and find it hard to get to know you as a person.
from an article on Love Matters
Women must learn that men are “wired” differently and the way a woman dresses can have a definite impact on how a man reacts to her. As an example, if a man is watching a TV talk show or interview, and sees a modestly dressed woman sitting on a chair or couch and she is wearing a dress or skirt that extends several inches below the knees, she is viewed as a total woman and the mans concentration is on her, as a complete person, and on what she is saying or whatever her purpose is for being on that particular show.
However, if you take the same woman and shorten her skirt so that it is two or three inches above the knees, then the man perceives her in a different manner, more as a sexual object. He no longer views her as a whole person worthy of respect. Instead, he sees her as a collection of parts, with some parts drawing more attention than others. This sexual “evaluation” all takes place in split second in the brain, but has the effect of distracting the man from what she is saying, because her appearance is sending a different message.
Even if they are full length and not tight fitting, a pair of slacks on a woman has the same psychological effect of dividing her up into parts”.
(from a forum seemingly quoting Dr. Anne Marie McDonnell).