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Encyclopedia > Sexual objectification

Sexual objectification is objectification of a person. It occurs when a person is seen as a sexual object when their sexual attributes and physical attractiveness are separated from the rest of their personality and existence as an individual, and reduced to instruments of pleasure for another person.[1][2] The concept of sexual objectification and, in particular, the objectification of women, is an important idea in feminist theory and psychological theories derived from feminism.[3][4] Many feminists regard sexual objectification as objectionable and as playing an important role in the inequality of the sexes.[1] Some feminists and non-feminists, however, argue that increased sexual freedom for women and gay men has lead to an increase of the sexual objectification of men.[1][5][2][3] Objectification refers to the way in which one person treats another person as an object and not as a human being. ... Features such as a symmetrical face, full lips, and low waist-hip ratio, are commonly considered physically attractive when part of a female, because they are thought to indicate physical health and high fertility to a potential mate. ... Image of a woman on the Pioneer plaque sent to outer space. ... Feminism is a social theory and political movement primarily informed and motivated by the experience of women. ... Feminism is a social theory and political movement primarily informed and motivated by the experience of women. ... GAY can mean: Gay, a term referring to homosexual men or women The IATA code for Gaya Airport Category: ...


Objectification of women

Feminist scholars say that the objectification of women involves disregarding personal and intellectual abilities and capabilities, and women's reduction to instruments of sexual pleasure for men.[3][2] Examples of phenomena seen by some feminists as objectifying women include depictions of women in advertising and media, images of women in pornography, as well as images in more mainstream media such as advertising and art, stripping and prostitution, men evaluating women sexually in public spaces, and cosmetic surgery, particularly breast enlargement.[citation needed] Porn redirects here. ... “Publisher” redirects here. ... // Advert redirects here. ... This article is about the philosophical concept of Art. ... 1. ... Whore redirects here. ... Plastic surgery is a general term for operative manual and instrumental treatment which is performed for functional or aesthetic reasons. ... Breast implant diagram Saline-filled breast implants Silicone gel-filled breast implants Breast implants A breast implant is a prosthesis used in cosmetic surgery to enlarge the size of a womans breasts (known as breast augmentation) or to reconstruct the breast (for example, after a mastectomy, or during male...

Historically, feminists believe women have often been valued for their physical attributes. Some feminists and psychologists argue that such sexual objectification can lead to negative psychological effects include depression and hopelessness, and can give women negative self-images because of the belief that their intelligence and competence are not being acknowledged.[6][7] The precise degree to how objectification has affected women and society in general is a topic of academic debate. Such claims include: girls' understanding of the importance of appearance in society may contribute to feelings of fear, shame, and disgust that some experience during the transition from girlhood to womanhood because they sense that they are becoming more visible to society as sexual objects;[8] and that young women are especially susceptible to objectification, as they are often taught that power, respect, and wealth can be derived from one's outward appearance.[9] For other uses, see Depression. ... For other uses, see Hope (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Self-concept. ... For other uses, see Fear (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Shame (disambiguation). ... A woman showing disgust. ... Much of the recent sociological debate on power revolves around the issue of the constraining and/or enabling nature of power. ... Respect It also could be applied to taking care of oneself, others or the environment. ... For the business meaning, see Wealth (economics). ...

Pro-feminist cultural critics such as Robert Jensen and Sut Jhally accuse mass media and advertising of promoting the objectification of women to help promote goods and services.[10][11][12] Robert William Jensen (born July 14, 1958) is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. ... Sut Jhally, discussing Tough Guise: Men, Violence and the Crisis in Masculinity at the Mens Project Collaborative, Amherst College in March 2004 Sut Jhally (born 29 May 1955) is a professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, regarded as one of the world’s leading cultural studies... Popular press redirects here; note that the University of Wisconsin Press publishes under the imprint The Popular Press. Mass media is a term used to denote a section of the media specifically envisioned and designed to reach a very large audience such as the population of a nation state. ...

Objectification of men

Feminist authors Christina Hoff Sommers and Naomi Wolf write that women's sexual liberation has led many women to view men as sex objects.[13][14][15] Research has suggested that the psychological effects of objectification on men are similar to those of women, leading to negative body image among men, as well as fears of inadequate sexual performance, leading to increased use of drugs like Viagra.[16][17][18][19] Feminism is a social theory and political movement primarily informed and motivated by the experience of women. ... It has been suggested that Equity feminism be merged into this article or section. ... Image needed Naomi Wolf (born November 12, 1962) is an American author, political consultant, and public intellectual. ... Body image is a term which may refer to our perceptions of our own physical appearance, or our internal sense of having a body which is constructed by the brain. ... // ...

Views on sexual objectification

Related terms:
The gaze

While the concept of sexual objectification is important within feminist theory, ideas vary widely on what constitutes sexual objectification and what are the ethical implications of such objectification. Some feminists such as Naomi Wolf find the concept of physical attractiveness itself to be problematic,[20] with some radical feminists being opposed to any evaluation of another person's sexual attractiveness based on physical characteristics. John Stoltenberg goes so far as to condemn any sexual fantasy that involves visualization of a woman as wrongfully objectifying.[21] Look up Gaze in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image needed Naomi Wolf (born November 12, 1962) is an American author, political consultant, and public intellectual. ... When used with people, this term is often synonymous with sexual desirability, but can also simply mean whether or not someone is considered appealing to look at. ... Radical feminism is a branch of feminism that views womens oppression (or patriarchy) as the basic system of power upon which human relationships in society are arranged. ... Image:John Stoltenberg. ...

Radical feminists view objectification as playing a central role in reducing women to what they refer to as the "sex class". While radical feminists view all mass media in a patriarchal society to be objectifying, they most often focus on pornography as playing an egregious role in habituating men to objectify women.[citation needed] Other feminists, particularly those identified with sex-positive feminism, take a different view of sexual objectification and see it as a problem when it is not counterbalanced by women's sense of their own sexual subjectivity.[citation needed] Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ... A patriarch (from Greek: patria means father; arché means rule, beginning, origin) is a male head of an extended family exercising autocratic authority, or, by extension, a member of the ruling class or government of a society controlled by senior men. ... Porn redirects here. ... Sex-positive feminism, sometimes known as pro-sex feminism, sex-radical feminism, or sexually liberal feminism, is a movement that was formed in the early 1980s. ...

Some social conservatives have taken up aspects of the feminist critique of sexual objectification. In their view however, the increase of sexual objectification in Western culture is one of the negative legacies of the sexual revolution.[22][23] These critics, notably Wendy Shalit, advocate a return to pre-sexual revolution standards of sexual morality, which Shalit refers to as a "return to modesty", as an antidote to sexual objectification.[23][24] Social conservatism is a belief in traditional morality and social mores and the desire to preserve these in present day society, often through civil law or regulation. ... Feminism is a social theory and political movement primarily informed and motivated by the experience of women. ... For the Macy Gray song, see Sexual Revolution (song). ... Wendy Shalit (born 1975) graduated from Williams College with a BA degree in Philosophy. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

Many critics of feminism contest feminist claims about the objectification of women. Camille Paglia holds that "Turning people into sex objects is one of the specialties of our species." In her view, objectification is closely tied to (and may even be identical with) the highest human faculties toward conceptualization and aesthetics.[25] Individualist feminist Wendy McElroy holds that the label "sex object" means nothing because inanimate objects are not sexual. She continues that women are their bodies and sexuality as well as their minds and souls.[26] Libertarian economist and social critic Murray Rothbard wrote that women are and always will be sex objects to men and men are and always will be sex objects to women.[27] Camille Anna Paglia (born April 2, 1947 in Endicott, New York) is an American social critic, author and teacher. ... Aesthetics is commonly perceived as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. ... Individualist feminism is a blanket term for different forms of individualist feminist ideas. ... Wendy McElroy is a Canadian individualist anarchist and individualist feminist. ... See also Libertarianism and Libertarian Party Libertarian,is a term for person who has made a conscious and principled commitment, evidenced by a statement or Pledge, to forswear violating others rights and usually living in voluntary communities: thus in law no longer subject to government supervision. ... Murray Newton Rothbard (March 2, 1926 – January 7, 1995) was an influential American economist, historian and natural law theorist belonging to the Austrian School of Economics who helped define modern libertarianism. ...

Objectification and sexual fetishism

Sexual objectification may also be considered a means of realising a sexual fetish; in which a person is assigned, or adopts the status of a fetish object. This may provide erotic humiliation for the person so regarded. As with most BDSM-related activities, it is not considered abusive when engaged in consensually. Allen Jones' Hat Stand and Table Sculpture, which show semi-naked women in the roles of furniture, are clear examples of the depiction of the fantasy of sexual objectification. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Sexual fetishism, first described as such by Sigmund Freud though the concept and certainly the activity is quite ancient, is a form of paraphilia where the object of affection is a specific inanimate object or part of a persons body. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Collars are a commonly used symbol of BDSM and can be ornamental or functional. ... Allen Jones (born 1937) is a British pop artist famous for his exhibition of erotic sculptures, like the set Chair, Table and Hat Stand (1969), each of which turns a woman into an item of furniture. ...


  1. ^ a b Bartky, Sandra Lee, Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (Routledge, 1990), ISBN 9780415901863, p. 26
  2. ^ a b <LeMoncheck, Linda, Loose Women, Lecherous Men: A Feminist Philosophy of Sex (Oxford University press, 1997), ISBN 9780195105559, p. 133
  3. ^ a b Barry, Kathleen, Female Sexual Slavery (NYU Press, 1994), ISBN 9780814710697, p.247
  4. ^ Goldenberg, Jamie L., and Tomi-Ann Roberts, 'The Beast within the Beauty: An Existential Perspective on the Objectification and Condemnation of Women' in Jeff Greenberg, Sander Leon Koole, Thomas A. Pyszczynski and Tom Pyszczynski (eds) Handbook of Experimental Existential Psychology (Guilford Press, 2004), ISBN 9781593850409
  5. ^ Botting, Kate and Botting, Douglas. "Men Can Be Sex Objects Too". Cosmopolitan. August 1996.
  6. ^ Hewstone, Miles; Marilynn B. Brewer (2004-01-01). Self and Social Identity. Blackwell Publishing Professional, 167. ISBN 978-1-4051-1069-3 ISBN 1-4051-1069-4. 
  7. ^ Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Tomi-Ann Roberts. "Objectification Theory: Toward understanding women's lived experiences and mental health risks". Psychology of Women Quarterly 21: 172-206. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.1997.tb00108.x.. 
  8. ^ Lee, Janet. 1994. Menarche and the (hetero)sexualization of the female body. Gender & Society 8(3):343–362. doi:10.1177/089124394008003004
  9. ^ APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls (2007-02-19). Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, Executive Summary. American Psychological Association. Retrieved on November 2, 2007.
  10. ^ Jensen, Robert, 'Using Pornography' in Dines, Gail, Robert Jensen and Ann Russo (eds) Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality (Routledge, 1998), ISBN 9780415918138
  11. ^ Jhally, Sut (dir) Dreamworlds II: Desire, Sex, Power in Music (Media Education Foundation, USA, 1997)
  12. ^ Frith, Katherine, Ping Shaw and Hong Cheng 'The Construction of Beauty: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Women's Magazine Advertising' in Journal of Communication 55 (1), 2005, pp.56–70
  13. ^ Sommers, Christina Hoff. 1994. Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women. New York. Simon and Schuster pp.(264-265), ISBN 0-671-7924-8 (hc), ISBN 0-684-80156-6 (pb)
  14. ^ Wolf, Naomi. 1994. Fire With Fire: The New Female Power and How to Use It. New York: Fawcett Columbine (pp.225-228), ISBN 0-449-90951-4.
  15. ^ Friend,Tad. "Yes (feminist women who like sex)" Esquire. February 1994
  16. ^ http://www.healthyplace.com/Communities/Eating_Disorders/men_1.asp "Adonis Complex: A Body Image Problem Facing Men and Boys"
  17. ^ http://www.islam-usa.com/e110.htm Athir,Shalid."Sex, Viagra,and Islam"
  18. ^ http://www.savethemales.ca/000817.html Makow,Henry."Sexual 'Liberaton' is Illuminati Subversion"
  19. ^ http://www.savethemales.ca/001200.html Makow, Henry. "Male Performance Anxiety"
  20. ^ Wolf, Naomi. (1992). The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women. New York: William Morrow and Co. (Reprinted, 2002. New York: Harper Perennial) ISBN 0060512180
  21. ^ Stoltenberg, John. 1989. Refusing to be a man: Essays on sex and justice. Portland, OR: Breitenbush Books. (Reprinted, 2000. Oxford: Routledge) ISBN 1841420417
  22. ^ National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families. 1997. Subtle dangers of pornography. NCPCF in Action Special Report, July 1997. (Archived at Pure Intimacy (website).)
  23. ^ a b Shalit, Wendy. 1999. A Return To Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0684843161 (hc), ISBN 0684863170 (pb).
  24. ^ Shalit, Wendy. 2000. Modesty revisited. Boundless webzine.
  25. ^ Paglia, Camille (August 20, 1991). Sexual Personae: Art & Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson. Vintage. ISBN 0-6797-3579-8 ISBN 978-0-6797-3579-3. 
  26. ^ McElroy, Wendy. 2006. A feminist overview of pornography, ending in a defense thereof. WendyMcElroy.com.
  27. ^ Rothbard, Murray N. 1970. "The great women's liberation issue: Setting it straight". The Individualist, May 1970. (Archived at LewRockwell.com.)

Miles Hewstone (1955 - ) is a leading social psychologist who is well-known for his work on social relations. ... Marilynn B. Brewer (Ph. ... Barbara L. Fredrickson is a prominent researcher in emotions and social psychology and one of the leaders in positive psychology. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... [[Media:Italic text]]{| style=float:right; |- | |- | |} is the 50th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The American Psychological Association (APA) is a professional organization representing psychology in the US. It has around 150,000 members and an annual budget of around $70m. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... The graphic identity of Focus on the Family is intended to recall old time traditional values. ...

Further reading

  • Bartky, Sandra Lee. 1990. Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-90185-5 (hc), ISBN 0-415-90186-3 (pb).
  • Brooks, Gary R. 1995. The Centerfold Syndrome: How Men Can Overcome Objectification and Achieve Intimacy with Women. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0787901040.
  • Eames, Elizabeth. 1976. Sexism and woman as sex object. Journal of Thought 11(2):140–143.
  • Holroyd, Julia. 2005. Sexual objectification: The unlikely alliance of feminism and Kant (conference paper). Society for Applied Philosophy International Congress 2005, Oxford, UK.
  • LeMoncheck, Linda. 1985. Dehumanizing Women: Treating Persons as Sex Objects. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 0847673316 (hc).
  • Nussbaum, Martha C. 1995. Objectification. Philosophy and Public Affairs 24(4): 249–291. doi:10.1111/j.1088-4963.1995.tb00032.x. (JSTOR link.)
  • Papadaki, Evangelia. 2007. Sexual objectification: From Kant to contemporary feminism. Contemporary Political Theory 6(3):330–348. doi:10.1057/palgrave.cpt.9300282.
  • Shrage, Laurie. 2005. Exposing the fallacies of anti-porn feminism. Feminist Theory 6:45–65. doi:10.1177/1464700105050226.
  • Soble, Alan (ed). 1997. Sex, Love and Friendship: Studies of the Society for the Philosophy of Sex and Love 1977–1992. Amsterdam: Rodopi. ISBN 9042002271. Chapters 13–16.
  • Soble, Alan. 2002. Pornography, Sex, and Feminism. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-944-1 (pb).

Martha Nussbaum Martha Nussbaum (born Martha Craven on May 6, 1947) is an American philosopher with a particular interest in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, political philosophy and ethics. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Alan Soble Alan Gerald Soble (b. ... Prometheus Books is a publishing company founded in August 1969 by Paul Kurtz and publishes scientific, educational, and popular books, especially those of a secular humanist or scientific skepticism nature. ...

See also

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Lookism is discrimination against or prejudice towards others based on their appearance. ... Sexualism is the belief that one set of sexual behaviors is intrinsically superior to another set of sexual behaviors. ...

External links

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (hereafter SEP) is a free online encyclopedia of philosophy run and maintained by Stanford University. ... Spectator was a free weekly newspaper published and distributed in San Francisco from 1978 until October 2005. ... Janet Anderson (born 6 December 1949) is the British Member of Parliament for Rossendale and Darwen. ... Petronella Wyatt (born 1969, London) is a British journalist and author. ... This article deals with The Daily Telegraph in Britain, see The Daily Telegraph (Australia) for the Australian publication The Daily Telegraph is a British broadsheet newspaper founded in 1855. ... This article is about the state-related university. ...

  Results from FactBites:
A test of Objectification Theory in adolescent girls - Brief Report | Sex Roles: A Journal of Research | Find Articles ... (963 words)
Objectification Theory, recently proposed by Fredrickson and Roberts (1997), attempts to understand the consequences of being female in a society that sexually objectifies the female body.
Sexual objectification occurs when a woman's body is treated as an object (especially as an object that exists for the pleasure and use of others), and is illustrated interpersonally through gaze or "checking out," and in the representation of women in the media.
Of central importance to Objectification Theory, however, is the proposal that the pervasiveness of sexual objectification in our society influences girls and women to internalise the views present in society and to begin viewing themselves in the same way.
Sexual objectification - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (767 words)
Sexual objectification is objectification of a sexual partner, that is, seeing them as a sexual object, and their sexual attributes, without recognition of their existence as a living person with emotions and feelings of their own.
In some circumstances, sexual objectification is also the fetishistic act of regarding a person as an object for erotic purposes.
As with most sexual activities, it is generally viewed as abusive if it is not part of a consensual arrangement, such as in BDSM play.
  More results at FactBites »



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