Gemma Saez, Marta Garrido-Macías, Abigail R. Riemer, Alba Mendoza-Flores, María Alonso-Ferres

Objects don’t just walk away: Exploring the connection between women’s engagement in self-objectification and their ability to recognize and respond to sexual violence

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: sexual coercion, sexual violence, victimization, objectification, risk perception

Self-objectification affects women’s sexual well-being, making them more vulnerable to sexual violence. However, there is a lack of research exploring the explanatory mechanism that connects women’s self-objectification with sexual victimization. This study sampled 64 women in romantic relationships to replicate and extend previous studies revealing the detrimental effect of sexual coercion victimization on self-objectification (Hypothesis 1). We also explored body surveillance, body shame, and later risk recognition as mechanisms in the relation between past sexual coercion victimization and future victimization measured as later risk response in a situation involving sexual aggression (Hypothesis 2). Results confirmed that women who had previously experienced sexual coercion engage in more body surveillance. Moreover, past sexual coercion victimization indirectly increased time spent before leaving a sexually aggressive scenario due to increased levels of chronic body surveillance, which increased feelings of body shame, and as a result diminished perceptions of risk. Discussion centers on the importance of embodiment programs focusing on increasing young women’s awareness of their own feelings in specific sexual encounters

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