Ever noticed other women checking you out?
Ever caught yourself checking another woman out, despite being notionally of a straight sexual orientation and then wondered why you were doing a double-take?
We all check out other women, women are beautiful and cool and, basically, why wouldn't you?
But, it turns out that, even if you're heterosexual, you may actually be inclined to check out other women more than men do.
Whether it's down to more of the usual patriarchal bullsh*** or whether it's a hangover from our cave-lady times, we know for sure that we are constantly judging other women, particularly in relation to ourselves.
As a new study explains:
'These observations of both genders using the same visual features to assess female body could be accounted for by mate selection theory, which postulates women judge their own attractiveness relative to other women in order to assess their own likelihood for successful mate selection ... or monitor potential competitors as attractive women have high 'market value'.. and pose a greater threat to partner sexual fidelity '
Nature or nurture, who knows?
But either way we're pitting ourselves against other women all the time, as sad as that is to admit, and it's fascinating to see exactly how.
Using eye-tracking technology, the study followed 33 women's gazes over various images of other women in tight and loose clothing from sizes 6-18.
Loose clothing, interestingly, made the viewers perceive the models to be slimmer.
And the viewer's own body satisfaction made a difference too.
The viewers were less likely to scrutinise an area of the model's body if they themselves liked that body part on themselves.
The conclusion that we might draw from this is that self-acceptance leads to less judgement of other people.
The viewer's gaze acted much like that of a man, focussing on the waist-to-hip ratio , the face and the legs the most and the arms the least.
So let's give each other a little slack if you catch them staring, and try and give a reassuring smile when you're the one oggling.
And let's try to love ourselves and others around us a little more.