This study provides empirical evidence for the objectification of women and unearths factors that increase objectification. Objectification theory (Fredrickson and Roberts 1997) suggests that women from Western cultures are the targets of male gaze. Although this seems self-evident from a look at the media, little empirical evidence exists to document the phenomenon or unravel underlying processes. Undergraduate female participants (N = 82) from the Midwestern part of the United States rated three photographs of well-known female Olympic athletes shown either provocatively dressed or in sport-appropriate outfits. Results showed that when shown provocatively attired the women were objectified. Furthermore, participants’ own levels of social physique anxiety were significant predictors of objectification. Sexism and trait objectification were not significantly related to ratings.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: May 24, 2007
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