Sex Roles

, Volume 59, Issue 7–8, pp 545–554 | Cite as

The Romance of Self-objectification: Does Priming Romantic Relationships Induce States of Self-objectification Among Women?

Original Article


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.


Women Objectification Priming Romantic relationships Body image 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA

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