Posted this on CBR, not expecting much discussion though.
In the last six-seven years the Beat published someone's claim that old 1940s statistics proved that there were actually more girl than boy comics-readers in a particular time-frame. Not hard to believe, if it's true that girls' reading-skills generally mature more quickly than those of boys.
So this makes me wonder: if there were more young female readers, isn't it likely that they liked seeing the male form on display, seeing it "objectified?" Of course in those days the male heroes, costumed and non-costumed, weren't usually the boulder-shouldered types we've become used to today: the comic-book artists tended to pattern themselves after comic-strip guys like Foster, Raymond, and Caniff. Frederic Wertham was one of the few persons to document any reader-responses from the Golden Age-- though his records are extremely suspect-- and he was very much in line with modern prejudices: pointing the finger only at the sexualization of female characters for male audiences, and paying no attention to the converse-- though of course he had a lot to say about the supposed sexualization of male characters for male audiences.