Less Than Human? Media Use, Objectification of Women, and Men’s Acceptance of Sexual Aggression


Seabrook, Rita C.; Ward, L. Monique; and Giaccardi, Soraya


2019 in Psychology of Violence, 21520828

  • Consumption of pornography was associated with greater acceptance of objectification of women, which in turn was associated with greater rape myth acceptance and more frequent acts of sexual deception.
Objective: Previous research has documented connections between media use and violence against women, yet the mechanism behind that relation remains unclear, especially for media that do not explicitly depict sexual violence. The purpose of this study was to examine whether objectification of women mediates the relations between media use (TV and pornography), and attitudes and behaviors supportive of violence against women. Method: Participants were 283 undergraduate men who completed surveys that assessed TV consumptions... READ FULL ABSTRACT
  • "Despite evidence that media consumption, and especially use of sexually explicit media, is related to sexually aggressive behaviors and attitudes accepting of sexual violence, relatively little work has explored the mechanisms that explain why this relation exists. Our results support theorizing by Gervais and Eagan (2017) that objectification contributes to sexual violence indirectly by changing cultural norms about how women should be treated. On the basis of our results, we suggest that media, which frequently objectify women, may indirectly influence men’s attitudes toward and perpetration of sexual violence by depicting women as sexual objects, devoid of agency and feeling. This study also adds to the mounting literature that indicates the many ways in which objectification is detrimental to women."
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