Sexualizing Sarah Palin

Sexualizing Sarah Palin Using Sarah Palin’s candidacy for the vice-presidency, Heflick and Goldenberg (2011) empirically link female sexual objectification with the negative perceptions and poor performances of female candidates. We argue that the authors undersell the importance of their findings, especially considering shifts in the content and ubiquitousness of mass media. Advances in communication technologies have enabled a new era of objectification, marked by an increasing presence and acceptance of sexual objectification in media, greater pornographic content in mainstream media, and greater acceptance of pornography in U.S. society more broadly. In the years since U.S. scholars began critiquing sexual objectification, its normalization and degree of penetration into our daily lives have increased, largely due to a proliferation of marketing and entertainment media images enabled by the Internet and other communication technology. Given this new era of objectification, we conclude that the phenomenon identified by Heflick and Goldenberg is more likely to influence the success of female politicians now than it was in the 1970s (when the sexual objectification of women was first problematized) and that it may also help explain the recent stagnation in U.S. progress towards gender equity in political representation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Sexualizing Sarah Palin

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-011-9984-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Using Sarah Palin’s candidacy for the vice-presidency, Heflick and Goldenberg (2011) empirically link female sexual objectification with the negative perceptions and poor performances of female candidates. We argue that the authors undersell the importance of their findings, especially considering shifts in the content and ubiquitousness of mass media. Advances in communication technologies have enabled a new era of objectification, marked by an increasing presence and acceptance of sexual objectification in media, greater pornographic content in mainstream media, and greater acceptance of pornography in U.S. society more broadly. In the years since U.S. scholars began critiquing sexual objectification, its normalization and degree of penetration into our daily lives have increased, largely due to a proliferation of marketing and entertainment media images enabled by the Internet and other communication technology. Given this new era of objectification, we conclude that the phenomenon identified by Heflick and Goldenberg is more likely to influence the success of female politicians now than it was in the 1970s (when the sexual objectification of women was first problematized) and that it may also help explain the recent stagnation in U.S. progress towards gender equity in political representation.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: May 5, 2011

References

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