Whose Gaze is More Objectifying? An Experimental Study of College Women’s State Self-Objectification, Body Shame, Negative Mood, and Body Dissatisfaction

Tugba Yilmaz, Özlem Bozo


Objectification theory posits that women internalize males’ sexualizing gaze upon them and pay more attention to their appearance than to their feelings. To date, the literature has focused on the differences that males and females arouse in objectification experiences of women. In the current study, a tripartite comparison of the effects of self-gaze, female gaze, and male gaze upon women’s self-objectification, body dissatisfaction, body shame, appearance anxiety, and negative mood was made with Turkish college women. The study utilized a 3x2 repeated measures factorial design with six different imagined scenarios comprised of three types of gaze (self, female, and male) and two types of clothing (swimsuit, and sweater and jeans). All dependent variables were significantly affected by clothing type. Body shame, negative mood, appearance anxiety, and state SO were significantly affected by the type of gaze. Interaction effects were significant for body dissatisfaction and negative mood.


Objectification; Eating disorders; Body image; College women

Full Text:



BBC news (2015, December 18). France passes bill banning ‘excessively thin’ models. Retrieved May 4, 2017 from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35130792

BBC news (2017, September 30). Is she photoshopped? In France now, they have to tell you. Retrieved January 2, 2018 from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41443027

Berscheid, E., Hatfield [Walster], E., & Bohrnstedt, G. (1972). Body image – A Psychology Today Questionnaire. Psychology Today, 6, 57−67.

Calogero, R. M. (2004). A test of objectification theory: The effect of the male gaze on appearance concerns in college women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28, 16−21.

Calogero, R. M., Herbozo, S., & Thompson, J. K. (2009). Complimentary weightism: The potential costs of appearance‐related commentary for women’s self‐objectification. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 33(1), 120−132.

Cattarin, J. A., Thompson, J. K., Thomas, C., & Willliams, A. R. (2000). Body image, mood, and televised images of attractiveness: The role of social comparison. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19(2), 220−239.

Dunkel, T. M., Davidson, D., & Qurashi, S. (2010). Body satisfaction and pressure to be thin in younger and older Muslim and non-Muslim women: The role of Western and non- Western dress preferences. Body Image, 7, 56−65.

Fenigstein, A., Scheier, M. F., & Buss, A. H. (1975). Public and private self-consciousness: Assessment and theory. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 37, 75−86.

Fredrickson, B. L., & Roberts, T. A. (1997). Objectification theory: Toward understanding women’s lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21, 173−206.

Fredrickson, B. L., Roberts, T. A., Noll, S. L., Quinn, D. M., & Twenge, J. M. (1998). That swimsuit becomes you: Sex differences in self-objectification, restrained eating and math performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(1), 269−284.

Gapinski, K. D., Brownell, K. D., & LaFrance, M. (2003). Body objectification and “fat talk”: Effects on emotion, motivation, and cognitive performance. Sex Roles, 48(9/10), 377−388.

Garcia, R. L., Earnshaw, V. A., & Quinn, D. M. (2016). Objectification in action: Self- and other-objectification in mixed-sex interpersonal interactions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 40(2), 213−228.

Garner, D. M., Olmsted, M A., & Polivy, J. (1983). Development and validation of a multi- dimensional eating disorder inventory for anorexia nervosa and bulimia. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 2, 15−34.

Gattino, S., De Piccoli, N. Fedi, A., Boza, M., & Rollero, C. (2017). A cross-cultural study of biological, psychological and social antecedents of self-objectification in Italy and Romania. Sex Roles, 78 (5-6), 325-337.

Gay, R. K., & Castano, E. (2010). My body or my mind: The impact of state and trait objectification on women’s cognitive resources. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 695−703.

George, D., & Mallery, M. (2010). SPSS for Windows Step by Step: A Simple Guide and Reference, 17.0 update (10a ed.) Boston: Pearson.

Harper, B. J., & Tiggemann, M. (2008). The effect of thin ideal media images on women’s self-objectification, mood, and body image. Sex Roles, 58, 649−657.

Hart, E. A., Leary, M. R., & Rejeski, W. J. (1989). The measurement of social physique anxiety. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11, 94−104.

Hebl, M. R., King, E. B., & Lin, J. (2004). The swimsuit becomes us all: Ethnicity, gender and vulnerability to self-objectification. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30(10), 1322−1331.

Heinberg, L. J., & Thompson, J. K. (1995). Body image and televised images of thinness and attractiveness: A controlled laboratory investigation. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 14, 1−14.

Kaschak, E. (1992). Engendered lives: A new psychology of women’s experience. New York: Basic Books.

Leary, M. R. (1983a). A brief version of the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 9, 371−376.

Leary, M. R. (1983b). Social anxiousness: The construct and its measurement. Journal of Personality Assessment, 47, 66−75.

Lewis, M. (1992). Shame: The exposed self. New York: Free Press.

Loughnan, S. Fernandez-Campos, S., Vaes, J., Anjum, G., Aziz, M., Harada, C., Holland, E., Singh, I., Puvia, E., & Tsuchiya, K. (2015). Exploring the role of culture in sexual objectification: A seven nations study. Revue Internationale De Psychologie Sociale, 28(1), 125−152.

Martins, Y., Tiggemann, M., & Kirkbride, A. (2007). Those speedos become them: The role of self-objectification in gay and heterosexual men's body image. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(5), 634-647.

Mckinley, N. M., & Hide, J. S. (1996). The objectified body consciousness scale: Development and validation. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20, 181−215.

McNair, D., Lorr, M., & Droppelman, L. (1971). Edits manuals for the Profile of Mood States. San Diego, CA: Education and Industrial Testing Service.

Moradi, B. (2010). Addressing gender and cultural diversity in body image: Objectification theory as a framework for integrating theories and grounding research. Sex Roles, 63(1), 138−148.

Mülazımoğlu-Ballı, Ö., & Aşçı, F. H. (2006). Reliability and validity study of Social Physique Anxiety Inventory. Hacettepe Journal of Sport Sciences, 17(1), 11−19.

Newheiser, A-K., LaFrance, M., & Dovidio, J. F. (2010). Others as objects: How women and men perceive the consequences of self-objectification. Sex Roles, 63, 657−671.

Noll, S. M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). A mediational model linking self-objectification, body shame and disordered eating. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 22, 623−636.

Quinn, D. M., Kallen, R. W., & Cathey, J. (2006). Body on my mind: The lingering effect of state self-objectification. Sex Roles, 55, 869−874.

Quinn, D. M., Kallen, R. W., Twenge, J. M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2006). The disruptive effect of self-objectification on performance. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 59−64.

Rosen, J. C. (1996). Body image assessment and treatment in controlled studies of eating disorders, International Journal of Eating Disoders, 20(4), 331-343.

Rosen, J. C., Saltzberg, E. & Srebrik, D. (1989). Cognitive behavior therapy for body image. Behavior Therapy, 20, 393-404.

Salk, R. H., & Engeln-Maddox, R. (2011). Fat talk among college women is both contagious and harmful. Sex Roles, 66, 636−645.

Strelan, P., & Hargreaves, D. (2005). Women who objectify other women: The vicious circle of objectification. Sex Roles, 52(9/10), 707−712.

Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using Multivariate Statistics. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Tiggemann, M. (2001). Person x situation interactions in body dissatisfaction. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 29, 65−70.

Tiggemann, M., & Andrew, R. (2012). Clothes make a difference: The role of self-objectification. Sex Roles, 66, 646−654.

Tiggemann, M., & Boundy, M. (2008). Effect of environment and appearance compliment on college women’s self-objectification, mood, body shame and cognitive performance. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32, 299−405.

Yılmaz, T. (2017). An experimental study on women to understand negative mood, appearance anxiety, body dissatisfaction, and body shame considering Adlerian theory and objectification theory (Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis). Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.6092/2282-1619/2019.7.2108


  • There are currently no refbacks.