The gaze is the anxious state when an individual becomes aware that they are being ‘looked at’. This can be anywhere: in a lecture hall, in a restaurant or in the waiting room. You realize that someone is looking at you and everything changes.
You know what else I find interesting? Infants, when amused by something tend to stare at it longer. That is how developmental psychologists conduct experiments. They test whether certain knowledge is innate in infants, or if they learned it.
To bring the two ideas together: You know how female tourists get stared at when they go to a foreign country? Its most likely the same newness effect that wins them the attention of thousands of strangers. They stare at the female tourists not because they get to see a woman the first time- its nothing personal, but because they get to see something new. Its just that when you look at something new, you look at it longer. The question that arises in my mind is that if you really want people to stop looking at someone, hiding yourself from them won’t really help (using this theory). You have to get rid of the curiosity element. I use a picture of a woman’s veil only because I find that a lot of times in the western world it raises more curiosity than it needs to. I love the etiquette behind the naqaab, but not sure if it is suitable for every context.