Sex Roles

, Volume 60, Issue 3–4, pp 160–173 | Cite as

Sexual Self-Esteem in American and British College Women: Relations with Self-Objectification and Eating Problems

  • Rachel M. Calogero
  • J. Kevin Thompson
Original Article


The present study extended Objectification Theory (Fredrickson and Roberts, Psychol Women Q 21:173–206, 1997) to test the role of sexual self-esteem in models of disordered eating. Measures of self-objectification, sexual well-being, and disordered eating were completed by American (N = 104) and British (N = 111) college women. In Study 1, higher self-objectification was associated with lower sexual self-esteem, which, in turn, mediated the relationship between self-objectification and disordered eating in American women. In Study 2, path analyses indicated that self-objectification led to sexual self-esteem and body shame, which led to disordered eating in British women. This pattern of results was replicated, albeit weaker, when sexual self-competence replaced sexual self-esteem in the model. Discussion considers the significance of self-objectification and sexual self-esteem for women’s well-being.


Self-objectification Sexual self-esteem Sexual self-competence Disordered eating 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Keynes CollegeUniversity of KentCanterburyUK
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, PCD 4118University of South FloridaTampaUSA

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