Potential Implications of the Objectification of Women’s Bodies for Women’s Sexual Satisfaction

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Media internalization, Body surveillance, Objectification of women, Self-objectification, Sexual satisfaction

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The present study tested a sociocultural model of women's sexual satisfaction grounded in Objectification Theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). One hundred and one college women attending university in the UK completed measures of media internalization, body surveillance, body shame, sexual self-esteem, and sexual satisfaction. Consistent with predictions, the results of a path analysis indicated that greater internalization of appearance ideals from media sources leads to more body surveillance, which leads to higher body shame and lower sexual self-esteem, which, in turn, predicts less sexual satisfaction (only reached marginal significance for sexual self-esteem). In addition, body surveillance and body shame directly predicted sexual satisfaction. These results further implicate the sociocultural practices that objectify women in the disruption of women's experiences of sexual satisfaction.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Body Image: An International Journal of Research, v. 6, issue 2, p. 145-148