Body Surveillance and Body Shame in College Men: Are Men Who Self-Objectify Less Hopeful?

Brian P. Cole, M. Meghan Davidson, Sarah J. Gervais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study examined self-objectification and hope in a sample of undergraduate men from a Midwestern university in the United States (N = 227). Specifically, an online survey utilizing self-report measures examined the associations between body surveillance, body shame, trait hope, social relationship hope, and romantic relationship hope were considered through the lenses of Objectification Theory and the Broaden and Build Theory of Positive Emotions. Consistent with Hypothesis 1, bivariate correlations showed that more body surveillance was associated with less trait agency, less trait pathways, less social relationship pathways, and less romantic relationship pathways. As well, more body shame was associated with less trait agency, less trait pathways, less social relationship pathways, less romantic relationship agency, and less romantic relationship pathways. Additionally, consistent with Hypothesis 2 and the model proposed by Objectification Theory, body shame explained relations between body surveillance and hope, specifically, trait agency, social relationship pathways, romantic relationship agency, and romantic relationship pathways in a path analysis. This work fills an important gap in the current literature, as it is the only study to date that examines relations between self-objectification and hope, and furthers objectification research among men. Results are discussed within the context of Objectification Theory and the Broaden and Build Theory of Positive Emotions. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
JournalSex Roles
Volume69
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Broaden and build
  • Hope
  • Men
  • Objectification
  • Positive psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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