In Hawaii, members of the group Babes Against Biotech pose in string bikinis for their annual pinup calendar. MIss September, Nomi Carmona, goes topless, draped in sea shells, while other women tout their “GMO-free” bodies. 

Sex sells has been the conventional thinking.

PETA’s ads with nude celebrities decrying the mistreatment of animals in making fur products are perhaps the most famous example.

But do the racy images translate into support for their causes? 

A new study out of Australia says no. While sexy images of women can attract plenty of attention, and leers from men, that attention doesn’t translate into political support, whether it be for the ethical treatment of animals or a crusade against genetically modified foods. 

“This new research supports the nagging feeling many of us have held for years – that rather than filling people with warm helpful feelings, the true byproduct of using women’s bodies as window dressing appears to be boners,” writes Mary Williams in a recent Salon article about the study. “Advertising consultant Jane Caro tells the Canberra Times, ‘Sex only sells if you are trying to sell sex.’ You want to sell ethics? Try using ethical behavior.”

So even though the recently formed group Babes Against Biotech has already attracted more than 18,000 likes on their Facebook page and sold many a calendar, it’s far from clear if their attention grabbing sex tactics are resulting in anti-GMO converts.

You can read more in Salon’s article: Surprise, PETA! Sex doesn’t sell.

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Photo: Screenshot, Babes Against Biotech calendar picture  

Sophie Cocke