Domination and Objectification: Men’s Motivation for Dominance Over Women Affects Their Tendency to Sexually Objectify Women

Orly Bareket, Nurit Shnabel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the present research, we examined the association between heterosexual men’s motivation for dominance over women and their sexual objectification of women. We found that men’s social dominance orientation (SDO) correlated with their tendency to sexually objectify women (Study 1). Inducing threat to men’s dominance over women by assigning men to work under the supervision of women bosses—versus jointly with women partners (Study 2a) or under men bosses (Study 3)—led to increased sexual objectification of women among high-SDO participants. These results persisted when controlling for mood. Examining the corresponding effects among heterosexual women revealed that the correlation between SDO and the sexual objectification of men was non-significant (Study 1) and that working under men bosses did not affect women’s sexual objectification of men (Study 2b). These findings support feminist theorizing that men (re)assert their dominance over women by sexually objectifying them. Increased awareness of the motivations underlying women’s sexual objectification can help professionals plan useful interventions to reduce this phenomenon, hopefully limiting its negative effects on women’s well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-49
Number of pages22
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • backlash
  • feminist theorizing
  • gender
  • motivation for dominance
  • sexual objectification
  • social dominance orientation

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