Sex Roles

, Volume 69, Issue 1–2, pp 29–41 | Cite as

Body Surveillance and Body Shame in College Men: Are Men Who Self-Objectify Less Hopeful?

  • Brian P. Cole
  • M. Meghan Davidson
  • Sarah J. Gervais
Original Article


The current study examined self-objectification and hope in a sample of undergraduate men from a Midwestern university in the United States (N = 227). Specifically, an online survey utilizing self-report measures examined the associations between body surveillance, body shame, trait hope, social relationship hope, and romantic relationship hope were considered through the lenses of Objectification Theory and the Broaden and Build Theory of Positive Emotions. Consistent with Hypothesis 1, bivariate correlations showed that more body surveillance was associated with less trait agency, less trait pathways, less social relationship pathways, and less romantic relationship pathways. As well, more body shame was associated with less trait agency, less trait pathways, less social relationship pathways, less romantic relationship agency, and less romantic relationship pathways. Additionally, consistent with Hypothesis 2 and the model proposed by Objectification Theory, body shame explained relations between body surveillance and hope, specifically, trait agency, social relationship pathways, romantic relationship agency, and romantic relationship pathways in a path analysis. This work fills an important gap in the current literature, as it is the only study to date that examines relations between self-objectification and hope, and furthers objectification research among men. Results are discussed within the context of Objectification Theory and the Broaden and Build Theory of Positive Emotions. Implications and future directions are discussed.


Men Objectification Hope Broaden and build Positive psychology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian P. Cole
    • 1
  • M. Meghan Davidson
    • 1
  • Sarah J. Gervais
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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