Men who endorse social hierarchies are more likely to objectify women when their own power is threatened, suggests new research. The sexual objectification of women by heterosexual men is driven not only by sexual motives, but also by power-related motives (the wish to maintain male dominance).

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The statistics were pretty impressive. The authors handling of “gazing” behavior as a primary indicator of sexual objectification was awful. This is my biggest criticism of the study. First, their descriptions of the way gazing was measured were unclear in that they never firmly addressed how this was measured. It seems to have come from the photo ranking exercise, which is an implicit measurement of gazing at best. Photo ranking involved showing men photos of random stuff and scantily clad women without showing the face, and measured how long men looked at them vs photos of objects and landscapes. The authors also did not do the same for women participants, eg show that photos of scantily clad men and gauge the reaction. The use of avatar selection to measure sexual objectification was a pretty clever tool. The fact that they didn’t release their survey questions even in an appendix is suspicious. Ignoring any other criticisms, the generalizability of this study to the USA – and, is suspect, Western Europe – is minimal as all study pariticipants were Israeli with Hebrew or Russian as their primary language, indicating significant baseline cultural differences.


Why did they qualify this with heterosexual men; if this is true wouldn’t this also apply to homosexual men since the claim is that is not entirely sexual?


Wouldn’t this apply to anyone who endorses social hierarchy and their response to “others”? I get this is more common among men in our current culture but is it really exclusive?


This belongs in /r/socialscience


ELI5: What is a social hierarchy?