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Experimental Studies on State Self-Objectification: A Review and an Integrative Process Model

Published on Aug 13, 2018in Frontiers in Psychology2.13
· DOI :10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01268
Rotem Kahalon3
Estimated H-index: 3
(TAU: Tel Aviv University),
Nurit Shnabel15
Estimated H-index: 15
(TAU: Tel Aviv University),
Julia C. Becker21
Estimated H-index: 21
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Abstract
This paper provides an organizing framework for the experimental research on the effects of state self-objectification on women. We explain why this body of work, which had grown rapidly in the last 20 years, departs from the original formulation of objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). We compare the different operationalizations of state self-objectification and examine how they map onto its theoretical definition, concluding that the operationalizations have focused mostly on one component of this construct (concerns about one’s physical appearance) while neglecting others (adopting a third-person perspective and treating oneself as a dehumanized object). We review the main findings of studies that experimentally induced state self-objectification and examined its affective, motivational, behavioral, cognitive, and physiological outcomes. We note that three core outcomes of this state as specified by objectification theory (safety anxiety, reduced flow experiences, and awareness of internal body states) have hardly been examined so far. Most importantly, we introduce an integrative process model, suggesting that the reported effects are triggered by four different mechanisms: appearance monitoring, experience of discrepancy from appearance standards, stereotype threat, and activation of the ‘sex object’ schema. We propose strategies for distinguishing between these mechanisms and explain the theoretical and practical importance of doing so.
  • References (110)
  • Citations (1)
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References110
Newest
Published on Nov 1, 2018in Sex Roles2.28
Orly Bareket2
Estimated H-index: 2
(TAU: Tel Aviv University),
Rotem Kahalon3
Estimated H-index: 3
(TAU: Tel Aviv University)
+ 1 AuthorsPeter Glick41
Estimated H-index: 41
(Lawrence University)
The Madonna-Whore Dichotomy (MWD) denotes polarized perceptions of women in general as either “good,” chaste, and pure Madonnas or as “bad,” promiscuous, and seductive whores. Whereas prior theories focused on unresolved sexual complexes or evolved psychological tendencies, feminist theory suggests the MWD stems from a desire to reinforce patriarchy. Surveying 108 heterosexual Israeli men revealed a positive association between MWD endorsement and patriarchy-enhancing ideology as assessed by Soc...
Published on Jun 1, 2018in Psychology of Women Quarterly3.26
Rotem Kahalon3
Estimated H-index: 3
(TAU: Tel Aviv University),
Nurit Shnabel15
Estimated H-index: 15
(TAU: Tel Aviv University),
Julia C. Becker21
Estimated H-index: 21
We examined whether appearance compliments, despite their flattery, undermine cognitive performance. In Study 1, women participants (N = 88 Israeli university students) who wrote about past situations in which they had received appearance compliments (but not competence-related compliments) showed worse math performance than women in a control/no compliment condition—especially if they scored high on trait self-objectification (TSO). In Study 2, men and women participants (nwomen = 73, nmen = 75...
Published on Jan 1, 2018in Open Journal of Social Sciences
Yixin Jiang1
Estimated H-index: 1
We aimed to assess if type of clothing caused self-objectification. This study was based on the framework of Objectification Theory. 120 Chinese female undergraduates aged 17 - 25 years were divided into 4 groups: revealing tight-fitting clothes, revealing loose clothes, full tight-fitting clothes, and full loose clothes. They were asked to wear clothes of the most suitable size in two settings, a private setting and a public setting. In both settings, we measured state self-objectification befo...
Published on Jan 1, 2018in Sex Roles2.28
Jennifer Ruh Linder9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Linfield College),
Elizabeth A. Daniels6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UCCS: University of Colorado Colorado Springs)
The goal of the current study was to replicate and extend prior research on the impact of media images of athletes on women and men. We used an experimental design to investigate the effects of viewing sexualized or performance images of athletes on viewers’ self-objectification and physicality, as well as to explore moderators of these relationships. Participants (227 women, 193 men U.S. undergraduates) viewed either performance images or sexualized images of the same athletes, and then they co...
Published on Oct 6, 2017in Current Psychology1.47
Sophie Fisher1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Stetson University),
Danielle Lindner1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Stetson University),
Christopher J. Ferguson42
Estimated H-index: 42
(Stetson University)
Previous research has shown that sexual harassment has potential influence on women’s well-being and body image. This study evaluated the effects of exposure to catcalling, which is the specific instance of sexual harassment on the street by strangers, on women’s state body image and state self-objectification. The participants were randomized into experimental and control groups and were pre-tested to determine their state body image and self-objectification. The participants then watched one o...
Published on Sep 12, 2017in Sex Roles2.28
Ivanka Prichard11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Flinders University),
Annabel C. McLachlan1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Flinders University)
+ 1 AuthorsMarika Tiggemann74
Estimated H-index: 74
(Flinders University)
The present study experimentally examined the impact of different forms of inspirational fitness images (“fitspiration”) on women’s body image. Australian female participants (n = 152, 17–30 years-old; M age = 21.55, SD = 3.94) were randomly assigned to view fitspiration media which depicted the body in a functional (performing exercise) or non-functional (posed) way, with or without accompanying appearance-focused text. There were no main effects of image type or text presence for body satisfac...
Published on Jun 1, 2017in Psychology of Women Quarterly3.26
Danielle Lindner1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Stetson University),
Stacey Tantleff-Dunn-Dunn1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Rollins College)
Given the limitations of existing measures of self-objectification, the purpose of the two studies presented in this article was to develop and validate a new measure of self-objectification, the Self-Objectification Beliefs and Behaviors Scale (SOBBS). In Study 1, a total of 654 women completed an online questionnaire including a pool of items designed to measure self-objectification. The item pool was constructed through focus groups and consultation with subject matter experts. Participants a...
Published on Jun 1, 2017in British Journal of Social Psychology2.21
Francesca Guizzo2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UNIPD: University of Padua),
Maria Rosaria Cadinu9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UNIPD: University of Padua)
Although previous research has demonstrated that objectification impairs female cognitive performance, no research to date has investigated the mechanisms underlying such decrement. Therefore, we tested the role of flow experience as one mechanism leading to performance decrement under sexual objectification. Gaze gender was manipulated by having male versus female experimenters take body pictures of female participants (N = 107) who then performed a Sustained Attention to Response Task. As pred...
Published on Jun 1, 2017in British Journal of Social Psychology2.21
Steve Loughnan6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Edin.: University of Edinburgh),
Cristina Baldissarri5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Milano-Bicocca)
+ 1 AuthorsLaura Elder1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Edin.: University of Edinburgh)
People objectify others by viewing them as less warm, competent, moral, and human (Heflick & Goldenberg, 2009, J. Exp. Soc. Psychol., 45, 598; Vaes, Paladino, & Puvia, 2011, Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 41, 774). In two studies, we examined whether the objectified share this view of themselves, internalizing their objectification. In Study 1 (N = 114), we examined sexual objectification, and in Study 2 (N = 62), we examined workplace objectification. Consistent across both studies, we found that objec...
Cited By1
Newest
Published on Feb 12, 2019in Journal of Sex Research3.06
Roi Jacobson1
Estimated H-index: 1
(TAU: Tel Aviv University),
Daphna Joel35
Estimated H-index: 35
(TAU: Tel Aviv University)
The relations between self-reported aspects of gender identity and sexuality were studied in an online sample of cisgender (n = 4,954), transgender (n = 406), and gender-diverse (n = 744) groups. Aspects of gender identity and sexual fantasies, attraction, behavior, and romantic relations were assessed using the Multi-gender Identity Questionnaire (Multi-GIQ) and a sexuality questionnaire. Results show a wide spectrum of gender experiences and sexual attractions within each group, an overlap amo...