Subtle Differences: Men and Women and Their Art Reception

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Sex and age are one of the most frequently queried factors in visitor surveys of fine-art museums. But, what do we know after having collected this information? Does sex have any influence on art reception? Do men and women report different experiences or even show different behavior in the exhibition halls? And if so, is there any kind of explanation for this? Interestingly, it seems that scarcely any research has been conducted on such questions. In the context of the Swiss national research project eMotion--Mapping Museum Experience, we analyzed these questions via various methods: a complex visitor tracking system, wireless physiological monitoring, information mapping, and questionnaire-based surveys. Via this array of methodologies, we were able to show that sex contributes to various differences in art reception, but also in visitor behavior and the embodied reactions to artworks as well as informational texts. It also became obvious that men and women have different expectations upon entering a fine-art museum.
Translated title of the contributionSubtile Unterschiede: Männer, Frauen und ihre Kunstrezeption
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Aesthetic Education
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)65-93
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2014