Document Type



Most of the literature concerning objectification is focused on the individual experiences and the consequences that manifest from objectification. This study sought to address the gap in the existing literature on objectification theory by examining self- and partner- objectification in the context of same-sex relationships. The primary hypothesis of the current study is that gay men experience higher levels of self-objectification and partner-objectification than do lesbian women. A secondary aim of the study was to explore related variables, including enjoyment of sexualization, drive for muscularity, thinness attitudes, internalized heterosexism, and fear of HIV/AIDS. Participants were gay men (n = 32) and lesbian women (n = 43), from across the United States, who were currently in a relationship. Results from an online survey revealed that gay men had marginally higher levels of self-objectification and statistically significant higher levels of partner-objectification than lesbian women; self-objectification was significantly positively correlated to thinness attitudes, marginally positively correlated with body shame and fear of HIV/AIDS; and partner-objectification was significantly positively correlated with internalized heterosexism. These results highlight the importance of studying self- and partner-objectification within same-sex relationships.



Thesis Comittee

Laura Ramsey (Thesis Director)

Melissa Singer

Michelle Mamberg

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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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