-4
$\begingroup$

People can see sexual forms in many things. It seems that this varies with age, but this is not enough to claim it is because of sexual hormones. The question is: is it?

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

Pareidolia is a common phenomenon, and certainly is not limited to "seeing" phallic or other objects as sexualized; the canonical example is seeing objects as face-like, such as the headlights and grill of a car appearing as eyes and mouth.

There seem to be some sex-based differences in pareidolia (see Proverbio 2017) but if there is hormonal cause it is probably developmental rather than acute, and this is related to face-specific perception, not anything sexualized.

I don't see any literature on, say, puberty and sexual pareidolia, though absense of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absense. It isn't surprising that there are changes with age, but this need not be due to hormones per se but rather due to exposure to different stimuli (or their salience). I think this is probably not an area of much biological study because there isn't an associated medical concern and it's a fairly subjective phenomenon.

Proverbio, A. M. (2017). Sex differences in social cognition: The case of face processing. Journal of neuroscience research, 95(1-2), 222-234.

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.