A picture is worth twenty words (About the Self): Testing the priming influence of visual sexual objectification on women's self-objectification

Jennifer Stevens Aubrey, Jayne R. Henson, K. Megan Hopper, Siobhan E. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Extending a major premise of objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), this article tests the notion that visual depictions of sexual objectification of women's bodies can amplify women's state self-objectification (SO) in the short term. After deriving two operationalizations of sexual objectification that conformed to the tenets of objectification theory, results showed that women who were assigned to images of female models with high skin exposure (the first operationlization of sexual objectification) used more negative words to describe their appearance than participants assigned to control images. In addition, the body-display images produced more state SO and more negativity about one's appearance than images of women segmented into body parts (which represented the second operationalization). Implications for objectification theory and media priming effects are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-284
Number of pages14
JournalCommunication Research Reports
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Body Image
  • Media Priming Effects
  • Self-Objectification
  • Sexual Objectification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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