Reasons for Exercise and Body Esteem: Men's Responses to Self-Objectification
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- Strelan, P. & Hargreaves, D. Sex Roles (2005) 53: 495. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-7137-5
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In this study, we applied the construct of self-objectification to men, specifically to examine the role of reasons for exercise in men's responses to objectification. A questionnaire that assessed self-objectification, reasons for exercise, body esteem, and self-esteem was voluntarily completed by 153 Australian participants between the ages of 18 and 35 years (82 men and a comparison group of 71 women). Self-objectification and appearance-related reasons for exercise were significantly negatively related to body esteem for both men and women. Self-objectification was also positively related to appearance-related reasons for exercise. The latter was found to mediate the relationship between self-objectification and body esteem for both men and women. Men were just as likely as women to exercise for appearance-related reasons. Together, the results suggest that objectification may be sensibly applied to men and that exercising for appearance-related reasons appears to exacerbate the negative impact that self-objectification has on both men's and women's esteem.