Objectification in Fitness Centers: Self-Objectification, Body Dissatisfaction, and Disordered Eating in Aerobic Instructors and Aerobic Participants

Objectification in Fitness Centers: Self-Objectification, Body Dissatisfaction, and Disordered... This study was designed to investigate self-objectification, its theoretical consequences, and its relationship to reasons for exercise within a fitness center environment. Sixty female aerobic instructors and 97 female aerobic participants, who ranged in age from 18 to 45 years, completed questionnaire measures of self-objectification, reasons for exercise, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating. Increased self-objectification (and self-surveillance) was related to disordered eating symptomatology, body dissatisfaction, and appearance-related reasons for exercise. Aerobic instructors scored significantly lower on self-objectification, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating than did aerobic participants, and they exercised more for enjoyment and less for appearance-related reasons. For aerobic participants, location of exercise (inside or outside the fitness center) moderated the relationship between frequency of exercise and self-objectification, such that exercising within fitness centers was associated with relatively higher self-objectification. Higher levels of self-objectification were also related to wearing tighter exercise clothing. These results support the general model of Objectification Theory, and provide practical implications for women who exercise within objectifying environments. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Objectification in Fitness Centers: Self-Objectification, Body Dissatisfaction, and Disordered Eating in Aerobic Instructors and Aerobic Participants

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-005-4270-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study was designed to investigate self-objectification, its theoretical consequences, and its relationship to reasons for exercise within a fitness center environment. Sixty female aerobic instructors and 97 female aerobic participants, who ranged in age from 18 to 45 years, completed questionnaire measures of self-objectification, reasons for exercise, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating. Increased self-objectification (and self-surveillance) was related to disordered eating symptomatology, body dissatisfaction, and appearance-related reasons for exercise. Aerobic instructors scored significantly lower on self-objectification, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating than did aerobic participants, and they exercised more for enjoyment and less for appearance-related reasons. For aerobic participants, location of exercise (inside or outside the fitness center) moderated the relationship between frequency of exercise and self-objectification, such that exercising within fitness centers was associated with relatively higher self-objectification. Higher levels of self-objectification were also related to wearing tighter exercise clothing. These results support the general model of Objectification Theory, and provide practical implications for women who exercise within objectifying environments.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 1, 2005

References

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