Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 627–642 | Cite as

Dual Contradictory Effects of Self-Objectification on Sexual Satisfaction

  • Meysam H. BarzokiEmail author
  • Osmo Kontula
  • Hossein Mokhtariaraghi
  • Nasimosadat Mahboubishariatpanahi
Original Paper


Objectification theory provides an explanatory conceptual framework for describing women’s lived experiences. The goal of this study was to examine the relations between media consumption, self-sexualizing behavior, and sexual satisfaction within the objectification framework. Responses from a sample of 298 married Iranian women, chosen using multistage and cluster sampling methods, were collected to explore this relationship. The results revealed that while most of the variables had a negative effect on sexual satisfaction, self-sexualizing behavior had a positive effect. The link between media consumption and sexual satisfaction was mediated by body shame and self-sexualizing behavior. Media consumption, body surveillance, and body shame were positively associated with self-sexualizing behavior and accounted for approximately 24% of its variance. Discussion focuses on the contradictory effect of self-objectification and self-sexualizing behavior on sexual satisfaction.


Media consumption Body surveillance Body shame Self-sexualizing behavior Sexual satisfaction 



We thank Professor Tavakol of the University of Tehran for his significant influence in forming the theoretical aspect of our work and his great help in improving the present study through his informative review. Also, many researchers in the department of Social Science and Business Studies at the University of Eastern Finland have been very helpful during different stages of this study and must be greatly thanked. Our special thanks goes to the participating women, living in the religious context of Iran, who put their trust in the project and the researcher and reported some intimate details of their private lives.


The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relating financial or personal relationships that may bias the work.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all women who participated in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meysam H. Barzoki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Osmo Kontula
    • 2
  • Hossein Mokhtariaraghi
    • 3
  • Nasimosadat Mahboubishariatpanahi
    • 4
  1. 1.University of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Population Research InstituteFamily Federation of FinlandHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Clinical PsychologyIslamic University of GarmsarGarmsarIran
  4. 4.Tarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran

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