Major new science: Women more nude, more often online

Well, possibly real women ... not real science though


Virtual women are more likely to be naked than virtual men, researchers at the Canadian University of Laval have revealed, after publishing a scientific paper on the topic.

An analysis of nudity in Second Life led the Canadian duo Anna Lomanowska, a psychologistm and Matthieu Guitton, a neuroscientist who specialises in "virtual humans, and human behavior in virtual spaces", to conclude that females on Second Life showed more skin than the men did.

The paper 'Virtually Naked: Virtual Environment Reveals Sex-Dependent Nature of Skin Disclosure' was published in the online journal PLoS One. In it, the authors state the difficulty for researchers in discovering why and when humans get naked, because constraints such as environmental and social factors make the naked impulse hard to isolate.

Isolating on a large scale the spontaneous human tendency to reveal naked skin has remained impossible.

Their solution was to measure nudity on Second Life.

Using the online 3-dimensional virtual world of Second Life, we examined spontaneous human skin-covering behavior unhindered by real-world climatic, environmental, and physical variables.

After studying 400 avatars they found that virtual women wear skimpier clothes than men: 71 per cent of male avatars covered between 75-100 per cent of their skin, while only 5 per cent of females did.

Some 47 per cent of the virtual females they studied covered between 25-49% of their skin, compared to 9 per cent of males. It was unknown whether the female avatars were created by men or women, but the researchers say they factored possible sex-swapping into their statistics. Somehow.

The Canadian eggheads also found the skin baring to be unrelated to the physical attractiveness of the virtual women. They measured the physical attractiveness of the Second Life avatars by measuring the waist-chest ratios for females, and the shoulder-waist ratios for men. The researchers suggested that the avatar clothing choice may have something to do with the representation of women online generally: "one explanation for this sex difference in skin disclosure could be hypersexualization of female virtual representations".

The study authors hope their valuable research will provide a springboard for more important work in the area:

These findings have implications for understanding how sex specific aspects of skin disclosure influence human social interactions in both virtual and real settings.

Canadian taxpayers may be pleased to know that the work was supported by a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. ®

Virtually Naked: Virtual Environment Reveals Sex-Dependent Nature of Skin Disclosure, by Lomanowska AM and Guitton MJ is published on PLoS One on 26th December 2012


Other stories you might like

  • VMware claims 'bare-metal' performance on virtualized GPUs
    Is... is that why Broadcom wants to buy it?

    The future of high-performance computing will be virtualized, VMware's Uday Kurkure has told The Register.

    Kurkure, the lead engineer for VMware's performance engineering team, has spent the past five years working on ways to virtualize machine-learning workloads running on accelerators. Earlier this month his team reported "near or better than bare-metal performance" for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) and Mask R-CNN — two popular machine-learning workloads — running on virtualized GPUs (vGPU) connected using Nvidia's NVLink interconnect.

    NVLink enables compute and memory resources to be shared across up to four GPUs over a high-bandwidth mesh fabric operating at 6.25GB/s per lane compared to PCIe 4.0's 2.5GB/s. The interconnect enabled Kurkure's team to pool 160GB of GPU memory from the Dell PowerEdge system's four 40GB Nvidia A100 SXM GPUs.

    Continue reading
  • Nvidia promises annual updates across CPU, GPU, and DPU lines
    Arm one year, x86 the next, and always faster than a certain chip shop that still can't ship even one standalone GPU

    Computex Nvidia's push deeper into enterprise computing will see its practice of introducing a new GPU architecture every two years brought to its CPUs and data processing units (DPUs, aka SmartNICs).

    Speaking on the company's pre-recorded keynote released to coincide with the Computex exhibition in Taiwan this week, senior vice president for hardware engineering Brian Kelleher spoke of the company's "reputation for unmatched execution on silicon." That's language that needs to be considered in the context of Intel, an Nvidia rival, again delaying a planned entry to the discrete GPU market.

    "We will extend our execution excellence and give each of our chip architectures a two-year rhythm," Kelleher added.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon puts 'creepy' AI cameras in UK delivery vans
    Big Bezos is watching you

    Amazon is reportedly installing AI-powered cameras in delivery vans to keep tabs on its drivers in the UK.

    The technology was first deployed, with numerous errors that reportedly denied drivers' bonuses after malfunctions, in the US. Last year, the internet giant produced a corporate video detailing how the cameras monitor drivers' driving behavior for safety reasons. The same system is now apparently being rolled out to vehicles in the UK. 

    Multiple camera lenses are placed under the front mirror. One is directed at the person behind the wheel, one is facing the road, and two are located on either side to provide a wider view. The cameras are monitored by software built by Netradyne, a computer-vision startup focused on driver safety. This code uses machine-learning algorithms to figure out what's going on in and around the vehicle.

    Continue reading
  • AWS puts latest homebrew ‘Graviton 3’ Arm CPU in production
    Just one instance type for now, but cheaper than third-gen Xeons or EPYCs

    Amazon Web Services has made its latest homebrew CPU, the Graviton3, available to rent in its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) infrastructure-as-a-service offering.

    The cloud colossus launched Graviton3 at its late 2021 re:Invent conference, revealing that the 55-billion-transistor device includes 64 cores, runs at 2.6GHz clock speed, can address DDR5 RAM and 300GB/sec max memory bandwidth, and employs 256-bit Scalable Vector Extensions.

    The chips were offered as a tech preview to select customers. And on Monday, AWS made them available to all comers in a single instance type named C7g.

    Continue reading
  • Beijing reverses ban on tech companies listing offshore
    Announcement comes as Chinese ride-hailing DiDi Chuxing delists from NYSE under pressure

    The Chinese government has announced that it will again allow "platform companies" – Beijing's term for tech giants – to list on overseas stock markets, marking a loosening of restrictions on the sector.

    "Platform companies will be encouraged to list on domestic and overseas markets in accordance with laws and regulations," announced premier Li Keqiang at an executive meeting of China's State Council – a body akin to cabinet in the USA or parliamentary democracies.

    The statement comes a week after vice premier Liu He advocated technology and government cooperation and a digital economy that supports an opening to "the outside world" to around 100 members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Congress (CPPCC).

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022