Sex Roles

, Volume 56, Issue 7–8, pp 429–437 | Cite as

Indecent Exposure: Self-objectification and Young Women’s Attitudes Toward Breastfeeding

  • Ingrid Johnston-RobledoEmail author
  • Stephanie Wares
  • Jessica Fricker
  • Leigh Pasek
Original Article


The sexualization of the breast may lead women who internalize the sexual objectification of their bodies to have more negative attitudes toward breastfeeding. The purpose of the present study was to examine self-objectification in relation to young women’s attitudes toward and concerns about breastfeeding. Two hundred and seventy-five female undergraduates completed a survey with questions that assessed their plans for infant feeding, attitudes toward breastfeeding, concerns about breastfeeding, and self-objectification. Women who scored higher on measures of self-objectification were more likely to view public breastfeeding as indecent and to be concerned that breastfeeding would be embarrassing and would negatively impact their bodies and sexuality. Self-objectification was not related to general attitudes toward breastfeeding or to young women’s future infant feeding plans. Implications for theory and future research are discussed.


Self-objectification Breastfeeding Attitudes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingrid Johnston-Robledo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stephanie Wares
    • 1
  • Jessica Fricker
    • 1
  • Leigh Pasek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyState University of New YorkFredoniaUSA

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