Self-fulfilling objectification in relationships: The effects of men’s objectifying expectations on women’s self-objectification during conflict in romantic relationships

Abigail R. Riemer, Gemma Sáez, Rebecca Brock, Sarah J. Gervais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Interpersonal objectification shapes women’s sense of self, increasing self-objectification. While objectification is theorized to occur with consequences for self-objectification in romantic relationships, little research has examined this possibility. This experiment sampled 61 heterosexual couples to examine effects of objectification in relationships. Men focused on their partner’s appearance, or her as a person, before interacting with her. Although men in the appearance-focus condition did not self-report objectifying or dehumanizing their partner more than men in the personality-focus condition, women whose partner was in the appearance-focus condition reported higher levels of self-objectification relative to women whose partner was in the personality-focus condition. Discussion centers on the nature of objectification in relationships and the role of partners in determining women’s sense of self.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSelf and Identity
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Sexual objectification
  • dehumanization
  • mixed-sex dyads
  • romantic relationships
  • self-objectification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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