Objectification of women
Clearinghouse Connector – June 2015
Links to online resources available from the Women’s Health Victoria Clearinghouse collection.
To access these resources follow the title hyperlink. The display includes a link to the external website where the full text is available.
Need information on a different topic? Check out our Clearinghouse Connector archive.
Objectification is the process of representing a person as an object to be owned or consumed, rather than as a person in their own right. Examples include:
- the use of women’s bodies and body parts to sell products
- images which only show parts of women’s bodies, or
- depictions of women as inanimate objects for consumption.
The objectification of women through media and advertising can be internalised and has far-reaching implications for women’s body image, physical and and mental health.
However, objectification and sexualisation of women and girls is not just an individual health issue – it permeates our culture and shapes expectations of what are acceptable roles and behaviours for men and women.
Objectification of women
Equality doesn’t stand a chance until we see women as people ABC Online. The Drum, 2013
Women and the media : who do they think you are? Western Australia. Department for Communities, 2012
Feminist perspectives on objectification Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2014
Psychological cliterodectomy : body objectification as a human rights violation In: The Sage handbook of gender and psychology Sage Publishing, 2013 . Chapter 25
Sexual objectification, Part 1 : what is it? MS Magazine, 2012
Sexual objectification of women : advances to theory and research The Counselling Psychologist, 2011
Crowdsourcing sexual objectification Laws, 2014
Sexual objectification and substance abuse in young women [PhD Dissertation] University of Tennessee, 2011
Internalizing beauty ideals : the health risks of adult women’s self-objectification New York University, 2015
Body objectification, MTV, and psychological outcomes among female adolescents Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2009
Mass media, body image and eating disturbances: the underlying mechanism through the lens of the objectification theory In: Handbook on body image : gender differences, sociocultural influences and health implications Nova Science, 2013
Objectified body consciousness in relation to recovery from an eating disorder Eating Behaviors, 2011
Being objectified may be linked to sexual coercion in romantic relationships, study says Huffington Post, 2014
The objectification of women in professional sports Blazers Edge [Weblog], 2014
You looking at her “hot” body may not be “cool” for me : integrating male partners’ pornography use into objectification theory for women Psychology of Women Quarterly, 2015
Reproductive and maternal health
Eggs, milk and sex : what else must women sell? Feminist Current [Weblog], 2015
Commodifying the female body : outsourcing surrogacy in a global market University of California. Center for the Study of Women, 2012
For dignity or money : feminists on the commodification of women’s reproductive labour In: Oxford handbook of bioethics Oxford University Press, 2007
Markets, breastfeeding and trade in mothers’ milk International Breastfeeding Journal, 2015
Breastfeeding a preterm infant and the objectification of breastmilk Breastfeeding Review, 2006
Policy and guidelines
Objectification of women no problem for the Advertising Standards Board [Opinion] Melinda Tankart Reist [Weblog], 2014
Determination summary : use of sexual appeal in an exploitative and degrading manner Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB), 2014
Chapter 11 : Sexualisation of children and objectification of women in the media In: Review of the National Classification Scheme : achieving the right balance Australia. Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, 2011
AANA code of ethics Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), 2012
Sexualisation and objectification of women : position statement Women’s Forum Australia, 2010
Gender portrayal guidelines Victoria. Department of Premier and Cabinet, 2012
Women’s human rights : United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Form of Discrimination against Women : CEDAW Australian Human Rights Commission, 2008
Advancing women’s rights : exploring the relationship between the operation of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, 2010
Women’s Forum Australia Objectification and sexualization
How our Clearinghouse can help you
Women’s Health Victoria’s Clearinghouse has a wealth of information on gender in health in various forms. Our experienced health and information professionals can assist you to access this information.
Feedback and subscription
We value your feedback. Please tell us what you think of this resource. Click here to take a brief online survey
Please Contact Us with any feedback including suggestions for future Clearinghouse Connector topics.
Has a colleague forwarded this e-bulletin to you?
For your own subscription, complete an online Subscribe Request.