The Romance of Self-objectification: Does Priming Romantic Relationships Induce States of Self-objectification Among Women?
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- Sanchez, D.T. & Broccoli, T.L. Sex Roles (2008) 59: 545. doi:10.1007/s11199-008-9451-1
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Objectification theory suggests that women internalize an observer’s perspective on the body (self objectification; Fredrickson and Roberts, Psychol Women Q 22:173–206, 1997); however, certain contexts and thoughts may make self-objectification more likely. Because the pursuit of relationships is tied to attractiveness, the present study examines whether women have an automatic link between self-objectification and romantic relationships. Using a US undergraduate sample, women (N = 86) of different relationship statuses were either exposed to relationship-related or neutral words in a lexical decision making task. Following relationship priming, single women showed greater self-objectification and women in relationships showed less self-objectification. These findings are discussed in terms of self-objectification theory and the importance of attractiveness and beauty in the pursuit of relationships.