Poster or Presentation Title

Perceptions of Females Based on Level of Sexualization

Access Type

Campus Access Only

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Start Date

April 2017

End Date

April 2017

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Research has shown that in the Western world a woman’s worth is often based on her appearance (Heflick, Goldenberg, Cooper, & Puvia, 2010). This is the basis for the objectification theory, which states that emphasis is placed on females’ sexualized body parts rather than internal qualities (Gurung & Chrouser, 2007). Objectification often dehumanizes females, making them appear to be less capable, less competent, and less intelligent. One of the biggest problems with objectification is that it often adversely affects the development of young girls.

The present study attempts to uncover perceptions of females’ abilities based on level of sexualizaiton. This study also explores objectification in terms of differences in race (Caucasian v. African American females). Participants were randomly assigned to complete one of four surveys; participants either viewed a picture of a non-sexualized Caucasian female, sexualized Caucasian female, a non-sexualized African American female, or a sexualized African American female. After viewing the picture, participants rated the target’s abilities (intelligence, capability, and competence). Next, participants completed a self-objectification scale, which included items about physical features such as weight and beauty. It is hypothesized that all sexualized female targets will be rated less intelligent, less capable, and less competent. It is also hypothesized that the African-American sexualized target will be rated lowest in intelligence, capability, and competence. Finally, it is hypothesized that there will be a positive correlation between self-objectification tendencies and objectification tendencies of others.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Keith Corodimas

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Perceptions of Females Based on Level of Sexualization

Research has shown that in the Western world a woman’s worth is often based on her appearance (Heflick, Goldenberg, Cooper, & Puvia, 2010). This is the basis for the objectification theory, which states that emphasis is placed on females’ sexualized body parts rather than internal qualities (Gurung & Chrouser, 2007). Objectification often dehumanizes females, making them appear to be less capable, less competent, and less intelligent. One of the biggest problems with objectification is that it often adversely affects the development of young girls.

The present study attempts to uncover perceptions of females’ abilities based on level of sexualizaiton. This study also explores objectification in terms of differences in race (Caucasian v. African American females). Participants were randomly assigned to complete one of four surveys; participants either viewed a picture of a non-sexualized Caucasian female, sexualized Caucasian female, a non-sexualized African American female, or a sexualized African American female. After viewing the picture, participants rated the target’s abilities (intelligence, capability, and competence). Next, participants completed a self-objectification scale, which included items about physical features such as weight and beauty. It is hypothesized that all sexualized female targets will be rated less intelligent, less capable, and less competent. It is also hypothesized that the African-American sexualized target will be rated lowest in intelligence, capability, and competence. Finally, it is hypothesized that there will be a positive correlation between self-objectification tendencies and objectification tendencies of others.