The Harm of Sexual Objectification

Fast Facts About Sexual Objectification:

  • Research shows that when someone is being objectified the objectifier is viewing them as if they do not possess a real, individual mind and as if they are less deserving of moral treatment.
  • Another study found that the “frequency of exposure to men’s lifestyle magazines that objectify women, reality TV programs that objectify women, and pornography predicted more objectified cognitions about women, which, in turn, predicted stronger attitudes supportive of violence against women.”
  • Further, this study reported that “Consumption of reality TV, sports programming, and pornography was each associated with greater acceptance of objectification of women, which in turn was associated with greater rape myth acceptance and more frequent acts of sexual deception.”
  • Research on adolescents’ reactions to objectifying magazines found that “when boys consumed sexualizing magazines more often, they expressed more gender-stereotypical beliefs about feminine courtship strategies over time.”

Below is an excerpt of an article published on HuffingtonPost.com


Research shows that when someone is being objectified the objectifier is viewing them as if they do not possess a real, individual mind and as if they are less deserving of moral treatment.

In a society that’s constantly reeling with fresh scandals of sexual assault—from college campuses to media empires—the potential consequences for viewing women as mere plastic playthings are immediately apparent.

Objectification theory gives us a framework for understanding the experiences that many (if not most—if not all) women have: being perceived or treated as an object that is valued for its use by others. This typically occurs when a woman’s body, or body parts, are exaggerated or isolated from her personhood in order to serve the male sexual desire.

Some claim that these experiences are “likely to contribute to mental health problems that disproportionately affect women (i.e., eating disorders, depression, and sexual dysfunction) via two main paths. The first path is direct and overt and involves [sexual objectification] experiences. The second path is indirect and subtle and involves women’s internalization of [sexual objectification] experiences or self-objectification.”

 

Comments are closed.