Scientific Studies

Thin, sexy women and strong, muscular men: grade-school children's responses to objectified images of women and men 

  •  " Cultural images that objectify women are noticeable, and girls' responses to such images suggest that girls develop a pattern of response. Those girls who reject the images manifest higher body esteem and seem less vulnerable generally to the cultural ideal of thin, sexy women. Objectification is likely one factor among the "lived experiences" of being female that contributes to the gendered pattern found in the eating disorders of anorexia and bulimia. Smolak and Murnen (2001) argued that the gendered experiences of the "culture of thinness" promoted for girls, a greater experience of sexual harassment and sexual abuse which might contribute to body shame and loss of voice (see Smolak & Murnen, 2001, 2002; Smolak & Munstertieger, 2002), and limitations on women's achievement that focus girls on a good body as the key to success present a particular risk of body image and eating problems among girls and women. Objectification is part of this cultural constellation of factors."


Does Sex Really Sell?

  • "...does "sex sell," as the old adage goes? One survey suggests that consumers are inundated and fatigued. A recent poll by American Demographics magazine found that 61 percent of the respondents said "sexual imagery" in a product advertisement would make them less likely to buy it, and one-third were downright offended by the whole idea."


Sexual suggestiveness in online ads: effects of objectification on opposite genders 

  • "Conclusions:  The findings from the two studies suggest that even exposure to seemingly innocuous sexually suggestive ads can lead to disturbing antifemale sentiments such as objectification. An interesting observation was the finding that the constructs of male and female objectification are conceptually distinct. The null findings for 'Mediated Objectification' in Study 2 also suggests the possible operation of the availability heuristic in Study 1. While the effects observed here pertain to short-term effects only, future research will benefit by examining the effects of prolonged exposure to sexually suggestive material."


An examination of violence and gender role portrayals in video games: implications for gender socialization and aggressive behavior 

  • "...the roles internalized by the child, including gender, become for the child, and later for the adult, a basis for other roles and for action. Thus, the gender role that is internalized by the individual when she or he is young necessarily has a significant impact upon the perspective of that individual and the additional roles she or he assumes in later life."