Body on My Mind: The Lingering Effect of State Self-objectification
- 1.4k Downloads
Objectification theory explicates a model in which women are socialized to view their own bodies as objects to be evaluated. In the current study, we used a 2 (self-objectification condition: swimsuit versus sweater) × 2 (gender) factorial design to examine whether body-related thoughts continued after women were removed from a self-objectifying situation. Results showed that, compared to participants in the other three groups, women in the self-objectification condition listed more body-related thoughts during a free response task given after they had re-dressed. The amount of shame experienced during self-objectification mediated the relationship between self-objectification condition and lingering body-related thoughts. This study adds to the understanding of how the process of self-objectification works to maintain women’s focus on their appearance.
KeywordsObjectification Gender Body image Shame
The authors thank Stephenie Chaudoir, Diana Milillo, and Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article.
- Lewis, H. B. (1971). Shame and guilt in neurosis. New York: International University Press.Google Scholar
- Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2004). SPSS and SAS procedures for estimating indirect effects in simple mediation models. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 36, 717–731.Google Scholar
- Quinn, D. M., Kallen, R. W., Twenge, J. M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2006). The disruptive effect of self-objectification on performance. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 50–64.Google Scholar
- Wolf, N. (1991). The beauty myth: How images of beauty are used against women. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar