This viewpoint is often a result of MostWritersAreMale, and/or a (possibly unconscious) assumption that the audience is mostly or exclusively male, but is sometimes enforced by [[ExecutiveMeddling the money people]] to [[{{Fanservice}} appeal to potential consumers]], even in works by women or intended for a female audience. One of the reasons for this is that ''advertisers'' prefer shows targeted to young men, because young men are more easily swayed by advertising.

Common symptoms of MaleGaze include assuming that the audience will identify or empathize primarily with male characters, and will have typically male experiences, preferences and expectations. (The former is actually enforced in Young Adult publishing, as it is an accepted fact that [[http://www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0809/a-guys.html boys dislike reading books about girls]] and thus general-audience YA novels must have male leads.)

This is by no means a new phenomenon - see [[http://www.lyons.co.uk/Titian/bigh1/Magda.htm this picture]] of Mary Magdalene, done in [[OlderThanSteam the 1500s]]. The story runs that towards the end of her life, she became a hermit, and grew her hair so long she didn't need clothes. Nevertheless, the painter has decided to paint her without the hair covering everything that [[GodivaHair it otherwise might]], and not as a particularly old woman.