Psychology of Women Quarterly
Although the process of sexual objectification is theorized to occur within interpersonal interactions, we believe this is the first study to examine sexual objectification and self-objectification in actual (nonconfederate) interpersonal encounters. Men and women were brought into the laboratory and interacted in mixed-sex dyads. We used dyadic analysis to detect whether partners’ objectification of each other affected state self-objectification, and the resulting feelings of comfort and authenticity during the interaction. After the interaction, participants completed a cognitive performance task, a measure of career aspirations, and a measure of relationship agency. Results showed that for women only, being objectified by their male interaction partner was associated with an increase in state self-objectification, and state self-objectification led to perceptions that the interaction was less comfortable and less authentic. Furthermore, for women but not for men, having authentic interactions was found to relate positively to relationship agency, career aspirations, and cognitive performance. This research shows that self-objectification is not only a self-process but an interpersonal process heightened by the real-time sexual objectification of a male interaction partner. Online slides for instructors who want to use this article for teaching are available to PWQ subscribers on PWQ's website at http://pwq.sagepub.com/supplemental
actor–partner interdependence model, authenticity, dyads, gender differences, interpersonal interaction, objectification, social identity
© The Author(s) 2015
Garcia, Randi L.; Earnshaw, Valerie A.; and Quinn, Diane M., "Objectification in Action: Self- and Other-Objectification in Mixed-Sex Interpersonal Interactions" (2016). Psychology: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.