The Object of Desire: How Being Objectified Creates Sexual Pressure for Women in Heterosexual Relationships
The objectification of women is widespread in the United States (American Psychological Association, 2007), although there is relatively little research on objectification in romantic relationships. The purpose of this research was to explore how partner-objectification might be related to sexual pressure in heterosexual relationships. It was hypothesized that men who objectify their partners would be more likely to sexually pressure and/or coerce their partners. Additionally, a woman who feels objectified by her partner was hypothesized to internalize the objectification, feel like she has less control in the relationship (i.e., less sexual agency), and perceive more sexual pressure and coercion from her partner. Data from both men and women were collected online in two studies. In Study 1, men (119 from all over the United States and 57 from the BSU student subject pool) completed measures on partner-objectification, coercion, and pressure. Partner-objectification was positively correlated with sexual pressure and coercion in the general sample, but not consistently for the student sample. In Study 2, women (162 from all over the United States and 117 from the BSU student subject pool) completed measures of partner-objectification, self-objectification, sexual agency, sexual pressure and coercion. In Study 2, results in both samples showed that (a) partner-objectification is positively correlated with women’s self-objectification, (b) self-objectification is negatively correlated with sexual agency, and (c) lower sexual agency is related to more sexual pressure. This research can inform interventions aimed at reducing sexual coercion and improve the way people learn to treat one another within romantic relationships.
Laura Ramsey (Thesis Director)
Copyright and Permissions
Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Hoyt, Tiffany. (2013). The Object of Desire: How Being Objectified Creates Sexual Pressure for Women in Heterosexual Relationships. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 13. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/13
Copyright © 2013 Tiffany Hoyt