Original Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 6-17

Here’s Looking at You: Self-Objectification, Body Image Disturbance, and Sorority Rush

  • Ashley Marie RolnikAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Northwestern UniversityDepartment of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago Email author 
  • , Renee Engeln-MaddoxAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Northwestern University
  • , Steven A. MillerAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Psychology, Argosy University

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Abstract

This study investigated the impact of sorority rush on self-objectification and body image disturbance. First-year undergraduate women either participating (n = 68) or not participating (n = 59) in sorority rush at a U.S. Midwestern university completed online surveys at four time points. It was predicted that rush participation would lead to increases in self-objectification, which in turn would lead to increases in body shame and eating disordered behavior and attitudes. Results supported predictions based on objectification theory at a single time point, but not longitudinally. Rush participants evidenced higher levels of self-objectification and eating disordered behavior at all time points. Body mass index predicted dropping out of the rush process and was negatively correlated with satisfaction with the rush process.

Keywords

Body shame Objectification theory Sexual objectification Sororities Eating disorders