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Psychosocial Intervention

On-line version ISSN 2173-4712Print version ISSN 1132-0559

Abstract

SAEZ, Gemma; VALOR-SEGURA, Inmaculada  and  EXPOSITO, Francisca. Is empowerment or women's subjugation?: experiences of interpersonal sexual objectification. Psychosocial Intervention [online]. 2012, vol.21, n.1, pp.41-51. ISSN 2173-4712.  http://dx.doi.org/10.5093/in2012v21n1a9.

Interpersonal sexual objectification is defined as the act of reducing a woman to her body or body parts. It could be considered as a form of sexist discrimination, in which women have a differential treatment minimizing the importance of their inner qualities. The aim of this study, in which involved 251 participants, was to analyze the perception of interpsersonal sexual objectification in men and women. In addition, we examined the relationship between the interpersonal sexual objectification and ideological variables (sexism and power) as well as self-esteem and enjoyment of sexualization. Results showed gender differences in interpersonal sexual objectification. Women experienced more sexual objectification in their interpersonal relationships. Also, results showed the effect of gender in the variables that predicted interpersonal sexual objectification. In men, self-esteem and power were related with more experiences of sexual objectification. Specifically, power predited the perception of objectification and this effect was mediated by enjoyment of sexualization. However, in women, benevolent sexism predicted the perception of interpersonal sexual objectification and this effect was mediated by enjoyment of sexualization.

Keywords : enjoyment of sexualization; power; self-esteem; sexual objectification.

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