Understanding the Relationships Among White and African American Women’s Sexual Objectification Experiences, Physical Safety Anxiety, and Psychological Distress

Understanding the Relationships Among White and African American Women’s Sexual Objectification... Fredrickson and Roberts (1997) asserted that sexual objectification experiences are likely related to women’s physical safety anxiety; however, to date, very few studies have examined this relationship. Using a sample of 228 U.S. undergraduate women (n = 133 Black/African American; n = 95 White) from a Southeastern university, this study explored the relationships among sexual objectification experiences, physical safety concerns (i.e., perceived risk of crime, fear of crime, and fear of rape), and overall psychological distress. Findings revealed that Black/African American women reported more sexual objectification experiences and fear of crime than White women. Results of a measured variable path analysis suggested that perceived risk of crime fully mediated the relationships between sexual objectification experiences and fear of crime for both groups of women. Moreover, perceived risk of crime fully mediated the relationship between sexual objectification experiences and psychological distress for Black/African American women, but not White women. For White women only, fear of rape partially mediated the relationship between perceived risk of crime and fear of crime, and perceived risk of crime fully mediated the relationship between sexual objectification experiences and fear of rape. Taken together, the results suggest that a sociocultural context that objectifies women and their bodies is related to their sense of safety and security in the world. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Understanding the Relationships Among White and African American Women’s Sexual Objectification Experiences, Physical Safety Anxiety, and Psychological Distress

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-014-0444-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Fredrickson and Roberts (1997) asserted that sexual objectification experiences are likely related to women’s physical safety anxiety; however, to date, very few studies have examined this relationship. Using a sample of 228 U.S. undergraduate women (n = 133 Black/African American; n = 95 White) from a Southeastern university, this study explored the relationships among sexual objectification experiences, physical safety concerns (i.e., perceived risk of crime, fear of crime, and fear of rape), and overall psychological distress. Findings revealed that Black/African American women reported more sexual objectification experiences and fear of crime than White women. Results of a measured variable path analysis suggested that perceived risk of crime fully mediated the relationships between sexual objectification experiences and fear of crime for both groups of women. Moreover, perceived risk of crime fully mediated the relationship between sexual objectification experiences and psychological distress for Black/African American women, but not White women. For White women only, fear of rape partially mediated the relationship between perceived risk of crime and fear of crime, and perceived risk of crime fully mediated the relationship between sexual objectification experiences and fear of rape. Taken together, the results suggest that a sociocultural context that objectifies women and their bodies is related to their sense of safety and security in the world.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 15, 2015

References

  • Predictors of fear of crime in older adults
    Acierno, R; Rheingold, AA; Resnick, HS; Kilpatrick, DG
  • Co-occurrence of rape myth acceptance, sexism, racism, homophobia, ageism, classism, and religious intolerance
    Aosved, AC; Long, PJ
  • Exposure to sexually objectifying media and body self-perceptions among college women: An examination of the selective exposure hypothesis and the role of moderating variables
    Aubrey, JS

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