Objectification of women

Clearinghouse Connector – June 2015


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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 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

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


Self-objectification

Internalizing beauty ideals : the health risks of adult women’s self-objectification New York University, 2015

The role of self-objectification in disordered eating, depressed mood, and sexual functioning among women a comprehensive test of objectification theory Psychology of Women Quarterly, 2012

Objectification theory predicts college women’s attitudes toward cosmetic surgery Sex Roles, 2010

Body objectification, MTV, and psychological outcomes among female adolescents Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2009


Disordered eating

Media exposure and the subsequent effects on body dissatisfaction, disordered eating, and drive for thinness: a review of the current research Mind Matters, 2006

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

Integrating social comparison theory and self-esteem within objectification theory to predict women’s disordered eating Sex Roles, 2010

Evaluation of a structural model of objectification theory and eating disorder symptomatology among European American and African American undergraduate women Psychology of Women Quarterly, 2009

Objectified body consciousness in relation to recovery from an eating disorder Eating Behaviors, 2011


Intimate relationships

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

Self-and partner-objectification in romantic relationships : associations with media consumption and relationship satisfaction Sex Roles, 2011

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


Related websites

Women’s Forum Australia Objectification and sexualization

Complaints to the Advertising Standards Board

Collective Shout


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