When What You See Is What You Get: The Objectifying Gaze for Women & Men

Dr. Jan D. Yoder, editor of PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMEN QUARTERLY, discusses the article “The Consequences of the Objectifying Gaze for Women and Men” with lead author Sarah J. Gervais. The article won the 2011 Georgia Babladelis Best Paper Award.

Women who are looked at as sexual objects not only react as sexual objects, they also exhibit less proficiency with math, according to a study in Psychology of Women Quarterly.

The study examined the effect of the objectifying gaze (the visual inspection of one’s body by another person) on undergraduates’ math performance. Motivation to interact with the objectifying person in the future was also measured as well as body image outcomes, including body surveillance, body shame, and body dissatisfaction.

One hundred and fifty undergraduates (67 women and 83 men) from a large U.S. Midwestern university participated in the study.

Researchers found that the objectifying gaze lowered women’s math performance, but not men’s. The objectifying gaze also increased women’s, but not men’s, motivation to have further interactions with their partner. Finally, the research found that an objectifying gaze did not influence body surveillance, body shame, or body dissatisfaction for women or men.

“When What You See is What You Get: The Consequences of the Objectifying Gaze for Women and Men,” in March 2011 issue of Psychology of Women Quarterly. Visit http://pwq.sagepub.com.

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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