ArticlePDF Available

Objecting to Objectification: Women's Collective Action Against Sexual Objectification on Television

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

Media often portray women as mere sexual objects, but to date no known research has explored relations between exposure to such media content and willingness to engage in collective action. In the present study, Italian participants (78 men; 81 women) were exposed to a nature TV documentary (Control video), a television clip portraying women as sexual objects (SO video), or to the same sexually objectifying television clip including a commentary against such degrading depiction of women (Critique SO video). After exposure to the Critique SO video, women, but not men, reported greater collective action proclivity and behavioral intention to support a protest against female sexual objectification, as compared to the Control condition. Importantly, results further demonstrated that anger was the mechanism underlying women's collective action proclivity, as well as intention to react. These findings suggest that media literacy messages in the form of critique videos may be valuable tools to promote more active and critical media consumption and that media specialists, concerned citizens, and social media activists may use such messages to motivate women to collectively take action against sexual objectification.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Running head: OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 1
Please note that this is the Authors’ version of the manuscript accepted for publication in Sex
Roles
To cite this paper: Guizzo, F., Cadinu, M., Galdi, S., Maass, A., & Latrofa, M. (2017). Objecting to
objectification: Women’s collective action against sexual objectification on television. Sex
Roles, 77(5), 352-365. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-016-0725-8
Objecting to Objectification: Women's Collective Action Against Sexual Objectification on
Television
Francesca Guizzo, Mara Cadinu, Silvia Galdi, Anne Maass, and Marcella Latrofa
University of Padova
Author Note
Francesca Guizzo, Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialization,
University of Padova; Mara Cadinu, Department of Developmental Psychology and
Socialization; Silvia Galdi, Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialization,
University of Padova; Anne Maass, Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialization,
University of Padova; Marcella Latrofa, Department of Developmental Psychology and
Socialization, University of Padova
This work was supported by PRIN grant number 20123X2PXT_003 (2012) from the
Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research. We thank Lorella Zanardo for her
support on this project.
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 2
Correspondence concerning this manuscript should be addressed to Francesca Guizzo,
Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e della Socializzazione, Università degli Studi di
Padova, Via Venezia 8, 35131 Padova, ITALIA. Email: francesca.guizzo@unipd.it
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 3
Abstract
Media often portray women as mere sexual objects, but to date no known research has explored
relations between exposure to such media content and willingness to engage in collective action.
In the present study, Italian participants (78 men; 81 women) were exposed to a nature TV
documentary (Control video), a television clip portraying women as sexual objects (SO video),
or to the same sexually objectifying television clip including a commentary against such
degrading depiction of women (Critique SO video). After exposure to the Critique SO video,
women, but not men, reported greater collective action proclivity and behavioral intention to
support a protest against female sexual objectification, as compared to the Control condition.
Importantly, results further demonstrated that anger was the mechanism underlying women’s
collective action proclivity, as well as intention to react. These findings suggest that media
literacy messages in the form of critique videos may be valuable tools to promote more active
and critical media consumption and that media specialists, concerned citizens, and social media
activists may use such messages to motivate women to collectively take action against sexual
objectification.
Keywords: mass media, objectification, collective action, media literacy
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 4
Objecting to Objectification: Women's Collective Action Against Sexual Objectification on
Television
In many western countries we are accustomed to be exposed to media images of
undressed and sexy bodies often used as decorative objects or instruments to attract new
consumers. Female bodies are the more common targets of such representation. Content analyses
have shown that women are more likely than men are to be sexually objectified in advertisement,
magazines, films, television (TV), and music videos (Aubrey & Frisby, 2011; Conley & Ramsey,
2011; Fouts & Burggraf, 2000; Hatton & Trautner, 2011; Smith, Choueiti, Scofield, & Pieper,
2013; Vandenbosch, Vervloessem, & Eggermont, 2013). Although this trend is not novel, and
had already been documented in Archer and colleagues’ early work (Archer, Iritani, Kimes, &
Barrios, 1983), research has only recently begun to examine the consequences of such media
portrayals of women.
Exposure to sexually objectifying media content may have serious negative effects.
According to objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), living in a context in which
bodies, especially women’s, are hyper-sexualized by media contributes to sexual objectification.
When sexually objectified, a woman is treated as a mere sexual object deprived of individuality
and personality, as if her body (or sexual body parts) could represent her entire person (Bartky,
1990, Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). Sexually objectifying media may influence the way in
which women are treated and perceived by others and by themselves. Recent studies in U.S. and
European contexts, indeed, demonstrate that both men and women dehumanize sexually
objectified female targets in magazines (Puvia & Vaes, 2013; Vaes, Paladino, & Puvia, 2011)
and that men exposed to sexually objectifying images are more likely to harass women, to
endorse traditional masculinity ideology, and to legitimize anti-equality attitudes and violence
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 5
(Galdi, Maass, & Cadinu, 2014; MacKay & Covell, 1997; Malamuth & Check, 1981; Milburn,
Mather, & Conrad, 2000; Ward, Merriwether, & Caruthers, 2006). Furthermore, American
women exposed to sexually objectifying media are more likely to experience self-objectification,
concerns over their body image, and eating disorders (Abramson & Valene, 1991; Aubrey, 2006,
2007; Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2004; Holmstrom, 2004; see Grabe, Ward &, Hyde, 2008, for a
review). Pioneering research has also shown that American women’s experience of sexual
objectification may not only increase self-objectification, but also disrupt women’s social
activism on gender equality (Calogero, 2013).
Given the serious consequences of media sexual objectification, media literacy has been
proposed as an intervention strategy to break the vicious cycle of sexual objectification
(American Psychological Association [APA], 2010; Calogero & Tylka, 2014; Tylka &
Augustus-Horvath, 2011; Zanardo, 2011). The available evidence supports this claim, showing
that, at least in western countries, media literacy messages might work as a buffer by reducing
women’s internalization of beauty ideals and body concerns (Halliwell, Easun, & Harcourt,
2011; Irving, Dupen, & Berel, 1998; Watson & Vaughn, 2006). However, to the best of our
knowledge, no research to date has addressed viewers’ collective reactions toward media
objectification and media literacy messages.
The present study, therefore, had two main aims. Our first goal is to test whether mere
exposure to sexually objectifying media will elicit viewers’ engagement in gender-related
collective action, or whether, alternatively, an added critique against such degrading portrayals
of women will be necessary to stimulate media awareness and thus motivate people to participate
in collective action. According to many scholars, media literacy messages should “enhance
viewers’ criticism, by increasing their knowledge of the media, awareness of media influence,
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 6
and ability to assess the realism of the media representation of reality,” thus ultimately reducing
“the impact of media on audiences’ beliefs, attitudes, norms, and behaviors” (Jeong, Cho, &
Hwang, 2012, p. 455). Our second goal for the present study is to test the role of emotional and
cognitive reactions toward objectifying media as predictors of individuals’ projected engagement
in collective action.
Sexually Objectifying Media and Collective Action
As highlighted in the 2010 report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls in
the United States, women are the common targets of sexual objectification in visual media.
Images of scantily dressed women taking sexy poses have increased over the years in magazines
(Hatton & Trautner, 2011), music videos (Aubrey & Frisby, 2011), and top-grossing films
(Smith et al., 2013). This trend is growing even faster for teenagers, with over one-half of female
adolescents represented in visual media in a sexually objectifying manner (Smith et al., 2013).
Italian television fits well with the trends just described. For example, within the
European project “Women and Media in Europe,” the Italian Center of Social Studies and
Investments (Centro Studi Investimenti Sociali [CENSIS], 2006) analyzed the content of 598
television programs from the seven most popular Italian broadcast networks, finding that women
were mostly depicted as “showgirls,” such as actresses (56.3%), singers (25%), and models
(20%). According to CENSIS, women were more likely to be associated with fashion,
entertainment (31.5%), or physical violence (14.2%), but they were rarely represented in the
contexts of politics (4.8%), business (2%), or culture (6.6%). Further, in Italian TV programs the
host is often a man (63%), whereas women are typically relegated to decorative roles, often
scantily dressed (36.9%), with cameras frequently focusing on their bodies in a voyeuristic way
(30%), instead of highlighting their artistic abilities (15.7%). Overall, Italian TV tends to show
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 7
women in marginal roles and as sexual decoration.
Concerned with the degrading portrayal of women in Italian TV, a well-known diversity
management expert, Lorella Zanardo, produced a powerful documentary (Zanardo, Chindemi, &
Cantù, 2009) including a stream of clips from popular TV programs, accompanied by a personal
commentary. The commentary invites viewers to critically question the sexualized portrayal of
women and to become aware of the technical choices (e.g., positioning of video camera)
involved in women’s objectification. Hence, the documentary may be classified as a media
education tool, intended to increase viewer’s media literacy. Although in recent years gender
equality campaigns have grown globally (e.g., “If not now, when?”; “HeForShe” United
Nations campaign), to this date little is known about the efficacy of such campaigns on
women’s and men’s willingness to participate in collective action and gender activism.
Therefore, in the present study we tested viewers’ collective action proclivity in response to
sexually objectifying media and in response to a criticism of the same media content.
Collective action can be defined as actions (petitions, public protests, boycotts, etc.)
aimed at improving the conditions of a disadvantaged social group (van Zomeren & Iyver, 2009).
Different social sciences have investigated collective action because it is considered as one of the
most effective ways for disadvantaged group members to gain social equality and achieve social
change and justice (van Zomeren & Iyer, 2009; Wright & Baray 2012; Wright & Lubensky,
2009). According to the Dynamic Dual Pathways model (van Zomeren, Leach, & Spears, 2012),
two different coping strategies (emotion- vs. problem-focused) may be undertaken by group
members facing social disadvantage.
In the emotion-focused approach, collective action is promoted by anger arising from the
perception of unfairness and external blame for the disadvantaged situation (e.g., government,
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 8
high status group). In the problem-focused approach, the motivation to participate in collective
action derives from perceived group efficacy, which is closely related to the perception that other
group members are willing to engage in collective action as well (action support). The model
posits that contexts suggesting greater group efficacy and action support would encourage a
problem-focused approach, whereas contexts eliciting stronger group-based anger (e.g., external
blame of unfairness of the situation) would encourage an emotion-focused approach (van
Zomeren et al., 2012). Therefore, as a second goal of the present study, we investigated whether
the exposure to sexually objectifying media and to a critique of such media content would
predict an emotion-based or problem-focused collective action pathway.
To date, research has mainly addressed low-status group members’ willingness to join
collective action. Nonetheless, some studies have also investigated high status groups (Iyer &
Ryan, 2009; Mallett, Huntsinger, Sinclair, & Swim, 2008; Postmes & Smith, 2009), showing that
perspective-taking, group-based guilt and, again, group-based anger may be crucial predictors of
collective action by advantaged group members towards improving the disadvantaged group’s
condition (Iyer & Ryan, 2009; Leach, Iyer, & Pedersen, 2006; Mallett et al., 2008). Because an
additional interest of the present study was to explore the reactions of men (out-group members)
toward female sexual objectification in the media, we also investigated the role of perspective-
taking and guilt in predicting individuals’ collective action responses.
Gender and Collective Action
In the western world, women are recognized as a socially disadvantaged group because of
their lower status, power, and opportunities, which contribute to overall gender inequality
(Barreto, Ryan, & Schmitt, 2009). It is therefore important to investigate the factors that could
prevent or motivate individuals to take collective action aimed at improving women’s social
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 9
condition. In general, compared to women, men are less prone to support feminist goals
(Williams & Witting, 1997). Other research, however, has highlighted a growing involvement of
men in activism toward gender equality, especially antiviolence activism (e.g., White Ribbon
Campaign; Flood, 2001, 2005). Closer to the present study, Bongiorno, Bain, and Haslam (2013)
found that using sexually objectified female targets to advertise PETA (i.e., People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animal Organization) may reduce men’s intention to support the
organization, as compared to non-objectifying advertisement.
More is known about women’s collective action targeting gender disparities.
Unsurprisingly, women with a feminist identity are more likely to engage in collective action
(Liss, Crawford, & Popp, 2004; Nelson et al., 2008), whereas self-objectification seems to be a
barrier to collective action. When in a state of self-objectification (i.e., activated by asking
participants to remember an experience in which they felt treated as sexual objects), women were
more likely to support the gender status quo and were less willing to engage in social activism
(Calogero, 2013). Similarly, benevolent sexism undermines women’s engagement in collective
action, whereas exposure to blatant hostile sexism increases it because women become less
inclined to justify the gender system (Becker & Wright, 2011). In addition, Ellemers and Barreto
(2009) found that women perceive old-fashioned, but not modern, sexism as a form of
inequality. This, in turn, elicits anger, support for collective action, intention to protest, and
collective protest behavior. However, no known study to date has explored whether women’s
proclivity to react would occur in the face of the mere exposure to sexually objectified portrayals
of women in the media, or whether, in addition, a critical point of view is necessary to trigger,
both for women and men, collective action aimed at stopping the widespread sexual
objectification of girls and women in the media.
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 10
The Present Study
The present study was aimed at investigating the effects of exposure to sexually
objectifying media, with or without a reasoned critique of such media content, on viewers’ (a)
collective action proclivity and (b) behavioral intentions to participate in a public rally against
such degrading representations of women. We also explored whether media content would affect
perspective-taking, guilt, anger, action support, and group efficacy, which have been proposed as
antecedents of collective action (e.g., van Zomeren, Spears, Fischer, & Leach, 2004; Mallett et
al. 2008). To meet these goals, participants were exposed either (a) to a video clip of sexually
objectified TV programs (Sexual Objectification [SO] video condition) in which women are
presented as sexual objects, (b) to the same clip of sexually objectifying TV including
background comments against the degrading portrayal of women on TV (taken from the original
documentary “Women’s body”, Zanardo et al., 2009; Critique Sexual Objectification [Critique
SO] video condition), or (c) to a nature TV documentary (Control video condition). We
hypothesized that, after exposure to the Critique SO video (vs. SO or Control video),
participants, especially women, would express stronger willingness to engage in collective action
and greater behavioral intentions to support the cause.
We also tested whether the Critique SO video would increase male and female viewers’
comprehension of women’s situation (perspective-taking), responsibility for the situation in
which women are relegated in the media (guilt), anger, perception that other in-group members
would fight for the same cause (action support), and appraisal of in-group members’ efficacy to
achieve social change (group efficacy). In line with proposals on media literacy interventions to
raise a critical view on sexualized media (e.g., APA, 2010; Calogero & Tylka, 2014; Tylka &
Agustus-Horwarth, 2011), we expected that a reasoned and assertive point of view on such
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 11
media content would trigger people’s (both women’s and mens) reactions. Furthermore,
drawing from collective action models (Mallett et al., 2008; van Zomeren et al., 2012), we
investigated whether and which of the collective action antecedents would mediate the relation
between experimental video condition and participants’ collective action proclivity and
behavioral intentions to support the cause.
Finally, we speculated about the role that social dominance orientation might play in
affecting viewers’ reactions. Social dominance orientation (SDO) is the tendency to believe that
some groups are inherently superior or inferior to others and to approve such inequality between
social groups (Pratto, Sidanius, Stallworth, & Malle, 1994). Given that SDO is linked negatively
with support of women’s rights and positively with a view of women as sexual objects (Pratto et
al., 1994; Pratto et al., 2000; Pratto, Stallworth, & Sidanius, 1997), we investigated its
relationship with collective action antecedents, participants’ proclivity to engage in collective
action, and their projected behavioral reactions against women’s sexual objectification in the
media. In line with previous literature, we expected higher levels of SDO to correlate negatively
with all collective action antecedents, as well as collective action proclivity and intended
behavioral support for the cause. In other words, we hypothesized that the more participants
would approve inequality among groups, the less they would experience anger, guilt, action
support, group efficacy, and perspective-taking toward women’s condition, and the less they
would plan to engage in collective action against degrading TV representations of women.
Method
Participants
One of two female experimenters recruited 159 residents of Northern Italy (78 men; 81
women) either at different University libraries and study rooms or among neighbors and
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 12
acquaintances (see Galdi et al., 2014, for a similar procedure). The experiment was run using a
laptop computer in quiet rooms at the University, libraries or a participant’s home. The sample
(Mage = 32.50 years, SD = 12.33 years) comprised 43 (27%) university students, 47 (30%) blue-
collar workers, 44 (28%) white-collar workers, and 25 remaining participants (15%) including
housewives, unemployed, and professionals. Gender distribution was similar across the three
main categories (university students, blue-collar and white-collar workers;
(
 =
) =  p = .50). Moreover, female and male participants were similar in age
(t(157) < .11, p > .90). All participants took part in the study voluntarily without monetary
compensation. The procedure of the experiment and the main dependent variables were
administered in the same order as presented in the following.
Procedure and Materials
Participants were informed that the study was aimed at investigating mass media
communication and that the main task would be to evaluate a brief video clip. Participants were
first invited to complete a paper-and-pencil questionnaire including demographic information,
television viewing habits (i.e., Exposure to Sexist and Non-sexist TV programs), and a scale
allegedly measuring personal characteristics (which was in reality the SDO scale). Then,
participants were randomly assigned to one of the three video conditions: Critique Sexual
Objectification (27 men, 26 women), Sexual Objectification (26 men, 27 women), Control (25
men, 28 women). To support the cover story, after exposure to the clip, participants evaluated the
video and rated their current mood.
At the end of the task, the experimenter asked participants to participate in an allegedly
unrelated experiment on attitudes and the effectiveness of communication via the internet. All
participants agreed. Therefore, they were invited to complete a questionnaire on social
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 13
perception (i.e., Collective Action Antecedents scale and Collective Action Proclivity scale).
Immediately afterwards, participants were given a leaflet proposing an online petition promoted
by a (fictitious) non-profit association, allegedly fighting against the objectification of women in
society. After reading the petition, participants were instructed to indicate whether they would
support the cause of the association. At the end of the experiment, participants were fully
debriefed and thanked for their participation.
Exposure to sexist and non-sexist TV programs. To assess participants’ habitual
exposure to televised sexist and non-sexist programs, we used a list of 12 popular Italian TV
programs, six pre-tested as being sexist and six pre-tested as neutral (See online supplement for
pretest). Participants were asked to report how often they watched each program on 4-point
scales from 1 (never/I don’t know the program) to 4 (always).
Social dominance orientation. The SDO scale, originally developed by Pratto and
colleagues (1994), is the most common measure used to assess individuals’ belief that some
people or groups are inherently superior to others, as well as the degree of approval of unequal
group relationships. Participants filled out an Italian adaptation of the scale (Aiello, Chirumbolo,
Leone, & Pratto, 2005) composed of nine items related to the approval of inequality (e.g., Some
groups are simply more worthy than others) and nine items related to the approval of equality
among social groups (e.g., It would be nice if there was equality among all social groups).
None of the items referred directly to gender. Responses were provided on 5-point scales ranging
from 1 (not at all) to 5 (very much). An average index of SDO was calculated after reverse-
coding the nine items indicating approval of equality (Cronbach’s α = .89). Higher values reflect
higher social dominance-oriented beliefs.
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 14
Experimental manipulation. Three video clips (Sexual Objectification, Critique Sexual
Objectification, Control) were employed. For the Critique Sexual Objectification (Critique SO)
and the Sexual Objectification (SO) video condition, a brief extract of the Italian video-
documentary “Women’s body” (Zanardo et al., 2009; also available online with English
subtitles) was used. The only difference between the Critique SO and the SO conditions was that
the SO video did not include the commentary by the author, which was replaced with pop music.
Both videos include scenes from popular Italian TV programs showing provocatively dressed
and posed women or scantily clad female assistants, who allegedly help male presenters conduct
the show. For example, in one scene a provocatively dressed woman is locked in a Plexiglas cage
under the presenter’s table. In another scene a woman in underwear is hanging on a hook with
the camera zooming on her rear end, which looks similar to a series of prosciutto hams that are
hanging close to her. In the same scene a man also pretends to brand her rear end like the
prosciutto hams. Importantly, the Critique SO video included the same background comments of
the original documentary about the exploitation of women in Italian television. For example,
commenting on the scene with the woman under the table Zanardo said:
Can a woman crawl under a Plexiglas table, pretending she is the leg of the table, spend
a long time under there, pretending that it’s only a silly game? Can this be done without
leaving a scar somewhere in her body? And what should people who are watching the
program feel about it? On TV there is a woman, and a man is using her as the leg of a
table.
Again, commenting on the woman hanging as a prosciutto ham Zanardo’s comment was:
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 15
“Why don’t we do something about it? Why can’t we show our own truth? Why do we
keep accepting this constant humiliation? Why don’t we fight to protect our rights? What
are we afraid of?”.
(See online supplement for complete transcript.)
To summarize, the visual component was identical in the Critique SO and SO videos, the
only difference was the audio: the Critique SO video included the original critique comments by
Lorella Zanardo, whereas in the SO video the Zanardo’s comments were replaced with pop
music. Finally, the Control video condition included scenes of a nature TV documentary
accompanied by soft music. All videos were presented using a laptop and were approximately 3-
minutes long.
Evaluation of the video and mood. To support the cover story, after watching the video
clip, participants rated how interesting, pleasant, and well edited they considered the video on
scales ranging from 1 (not at all) to 7 (very much). A score of Video Evaluation was calculated
by averaging the responses on the 3 items (Cronbach’s α = .71). Participants also reported their
mood on a continuum line ranging from 0 (very good) to 14 cm (bad).
Collective action antecedents. Participants filled out a scale that comprised five well-
known collective action antecedents: perspective-taking, guilt, anger, action support, and group
efficacy (see Mallett et al., 2008; van Zomeren et al., 2004). Specifically, an 11-item scale was
used, in which some items were adapted for male participants (see brackets). The scale assessed:
Perspective-taking (2 items; I can understand Italian women’s feelings for their condition of
discrimination” and I can understand the feeling of frustration and humiliation of Italian women
for their social status; female participants: r = .85, p < .001; male participants: r = .42, p <
.001), Guilt (2 items; “Women [Men] are partially responsible for the discriminatory condition
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 16
that they [women] live in our society” and Women [Men] should feel guilty about the sexist
attitudes against women; female participants: r = .69, p < .001; male participants: r = .67, p <
.001), Anger (3 items; I feel angry for how women are regarded in Italy”, The portrayal of
women in Italian television makes me angry and “I am embittered for women’s condition in the
Italian society; female participants: α = .87; male participants: α = .90), Action Support (2
items; I think that most women [men] would be inclined to act in order to change the general
social condition of their group [women] and “I think that among women [men] there is a
widespread discontent for the discrimination of their group [women]; female participants: r =
.65, p < .001; male participants: r = .70, p < .001), perception of group’s efficacy to achieve
social change (Group Efficacy; 2 items; I think that women [men] together can change the
general social condition of their group [women] and “I think that women [men] can counteract
discrimination against their group [women]; female participants: r = .84, p < .001; male
participants: r = .79, p < .001). Participants were instructed to reflect on the present condition of
women in Italy and to indicate how much they agreed with each item on scales ranging from 1
(not at all) to 7 (very much). Items were averaged for each of the five measures so that higher
scores indicated greater perspective-taking, guilt, anger, action support, and group efficacy.
Collective action proclivity. Following van Zomeren and colleagues (2004), we assessed
participants’ collective action proclivity using three items: I would participate in a
demonstration against the actual condition of women in Italy,” I would do something together
with other women [men] to protest against the condition in which we are relegated,” and “I
would participate in collective action to stop discrimination of Italian women.” Participants
responded on 7-point Likert scales ranging from 1 (not at all) to 7 (very much). Given the good
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 17
reliability of the scale (female participants: α = .95; male participants: α = .97), an average index
of Collective Action Proclivity was calculated.
Behavioral intentions. To obtain a behavioral measure of the effects of the three video
clips, participants were presented with a leaflet showing an on-line petition promoted by a
(fictitious) non-profit association (Not Just Dolls), allegedly fighting “against the widespread
objectification of women in society.” After giving a short description of the main purpose of the
association and providing website information, the petition concluded: “We are tired of viewing
soubrettes and girls treated like showpieces on TV. We say ENOUGH to this use of women. Not
all of us are like that, we are not dolls! Give us our dignity back!” After reading the petition,
participants were asked to respond “yes” (coded 1) or “no” (coded 0) to three questions: (a) I
am going to sign the web petition promoted by the association,” (b) I will participate in the rally
scheduled for next week,” and (c) I will become a member of the association. The sum score
of Behavioral Intentions thus ranged from 0 (support for none of three parts of petition) to 3
(support to all three parts of petition).
Results
Descriptive Analyses
Descriptive statistics and zero-order correlations, separately for women and men, are
presented in Table 1. Overall, female and male participants showed similar levels of habitual
Exposure to Sexist TV (EST) programs. Interestingly, regardless of gender, participants’
Exposure to Sexist TV programs was associated with lower scores of Perspective-taking, Guilt,
Anger, and Collective Action Proclivity. Moreover, for female, but not male, participants, higher
Exposure to Sexist TV programs was associated with lower intention to take action against
objectifying portrayal of women in the media (i.e., Behavioral Intentions). As regards to SDO,
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 18
no gender differences emerged. Nonetheless, as predicted, participants’ indices of SDO
correlated negatively with scores of all collective action antecedents (i.e., Perspective-taking,
Guilt, Anger, and Group Efficacy), with the exception of females Action Support, and with
scores of Collective Action Proclivity and Behavioral Intentions. Therefore, the more
participants endorsed beliefs about the legitimacy of intergroup inequality, the lower were their
levels of Perspective-taking, Guilt, Anger, Group Efficacy, Collective Action Proclivity, and
Behavioral Intentions against the objectification of women.
Despite a strict randomization procedure, participants’ indices of SDO varied across
conditions, F(2,153) = 3.25, p = .04, ηp2 = .04 (M = 2.20, SD = 0.76, for Critique SO condition;
M = 2.54, SD = 0.71, for SO condition; M = 2.37, SD = 0.62, for Control condition). However,
the interaction between Gender and Condition on SDO was not significant (F < .40, p > .50).
Given these results, a multiple moderation model (using PROCESS; Hayes, 2013) was
conducted for each of the main dependent variables (i.e., Perspective-taking, Guilt, Anger,
Action Support, Group Efficacy, Collective Action Proclivity, and Behavioral Intentions).
Condition, using dummy coding (Dummy 1: Critique SO = +1, SO = 0, Control = 0; Dummy 2:
SO = +1, Critique SO = 0, Control = 0), was included as predictor, whereas Gender (female = 1,
male = 0) and SDO (centered) were entered as moderators. The inclusion of the three-way
interaction among SDO, Condition (Dummy 1 and Dummy 2), and Gender did not lead to a
significant improvement in the explained variance (max ΔR2 = .02, p > .08), thus disconfirming
a potential moderating role of SDO. Nonetheless, SDO was included as covariate in all the
subsequent analyses.
Evaluation of the Video and Mood
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 19
A two-way ANCOVA was conducted on participants’ scores of Video Evaluation, with
Gender (male, female) and Condition (Critique SO, SO, Control) as the between-participants
variables and with SDO as a covariate. Results showed a significant effect of Condition,
F(2,152) = 6.16, p = .003, ηp2 = .08: Post hoc tests with a Bonferroni correction showed that
participants liked the Control (M = 4.07, SD = 1.23) more than the SO video (M = 3.14, SD =
1.40; p = .001), whereas no difference emerged between the Control and the Critique SO (M =
3.71, SD = 1.36) or between the Critique SO and SO conditions.
A Gender x Condition interaction also emerged, F(2,152) = 7.04, p = .001, ηp2 = .08.
Simple effect analysis revealed a significant effect of Condition for women, F(2,77) = 13.84, p <
.001, ηp2 = .26, but not for men (p = .80): Women liked the SO (M = 2.63, SD = 1.33) less than
the Critique SO (M = 3.95, SD = 1.14; p < .001) and the Control (M = 4.39, SD = 1.30; p <
.001) videos, whereas no difference emerged between the Critique SO and the Control clips.
Moreover, simple effect analyses on the effect of Gender within Condition showed that men
liked the SO video more than women did, F(1,152) = 8.56, p = .004. Importantly, no gender
differences were found in the Control and Critique SO conditions. Given that the evaluation of
the video was included to support the cover story, and it is not relevant to the purpose of the
present study, we will not discuss it further.
A two-way ANCOVA was then conducted on participants’ scores of Mood, with Gender
and Condition as the between-participants variables and with SDO as a covariate. As shown in
Table 1, women reported higher levels of negative mood as compared to men, F(1,132) = 16.21,
p = .001, ηp2 = .11. A significant effect of condition was also found, F(2,132) = 11.84, p = .001,
ηp2 = .15: Compared to the Critique SO (M = 8.37, SD = 3.20) and the SO (M = 7.18, SD =
4.14) conditions, participants felt better after exposure to the Control clip (M = 4.92, SD = 3.66;
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 20
ps < .008). Importantly, no interaction effect emerged between Gender and Condition, thus
indicating that the reported results were not affected by participants’ mood as a function of their
gender and experimental condition. Therefore, we will not discuss Mood further.
Collective Action Antecedents
A Multivariate MANCOVA was conducted on participants scores of Perspective-taking,
Guilt, Anger, Group Efficacy, and Action Support, using Gender and Condition as independent
variables and with SDO as a centered covariate. SDO was a significant covariate, Pillai’s Trace =
.42, F(5,148) = 21.82, p < .001, ηp2 = .42. A significant effect of Gender was also found, Pillai’s
Trace = .19, F(5,148) = 6.89, p < .001, ηp2 = .20. Univariate analyses revealed that women
reported higher levels of Guilt, F(1,152) = 9.69, p = .002, ηp2 = .06, and Anger, F(1,152) =
24.19, p < .001, ηp2 = .14, as compared to men (see Table 1). No gender differences were found
on participants’ scores of Perspective-taking, Group Efficacy, and Action Support (Fs < .40, ps
> .50).
The multivariate effect of Condition was also significant, Pillai’s Trace = .20, F(10,298)
= 3.08, p = .001, ηp2 = .09. Univariate analysis showed a significant effect of Condition only for
Group Efficacy, F(2,152) = 8.15, p < .001, ηp2 = .10: Participants reported higher scores in the
Critique SO than in the Control condition (p < .001), with SO condition occupying a non-
significant intermediate position (see Table 2). Importantly, results showed a significant
Condition x Gender interaction, Pillai’s Trace = .18, F(10,298) = 2.85, p = .002, ηp2 = .09.
Univariate analyses revealed a significant interaction between Gender and Condition for
Perspective-taking, F(2,152) = 6.72, p = .002, ηp2 = .08, Anger, F(2,152) = 11.02, p < .001, ηp2 =
.13, and Guilt, F(2,152) = 4.91, p = .009, ηp2 = .06, but not for Action Support and Group
Efficacy (Fs < 1.40, ps > .24). We hereby report post-hoc tests with Bonferroni correction.
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 21
Perspective-taking. Compared to women, men showed lower scores of Perspective-
taking in the SO and Control conditions (ps < .02), whereas no gender differences were found on
the Critique SO condition. Women and men also reacted differently depending on the
experimental condition: For female participants, Perspective-taking was higher after exposure to
the Critique SO than after exposure to the Control video (p < .001), with the SO video occupying
an intermediate position that did not reliably differ from the other two conditions. Conversely,
men showed a decline in Perspective-taking in the SO condition as compared to the Control
condition (p = .01), with the Critique SO video occupying an intermediate position.
Guilt. Compared to men, women reported greater levels of Guilt after exposure to the
Critique SO (p < .001), whereas no gender differences emerged in the Control and SO
conditions. Moreover, as shown in Table 2, men’s scores of Guilt were not affected by video
condition. Conversely, for female participants, the Critique SO video elicited greater Guilt, as
compared to both the SO and the Control video condition (ps = .003).
Anger. Compared to men, women showed higher scores of Anger after exposure to the
Critique SO and the SO videos (ps < .001), whereas no gender differences emerged in the
Control video condition. Men’s scores of Anger were not affected by video condition.
Conversely, women reacted differently depending on the experimental condition: After exposure
to the Critique SO and the SO video clip, female participants reported greater Anger than after
exposure to the Control video (ps < .008).
Collective Action Proclivity
An ANCOVA was performed on participants’ indices of Collective Action Proclivity,
using Gender and Condition as the between-participants factors and with SDO as a covariate.
SDO was a significant covariate, F(1,152) = 90.87, p < .001, ηp2 = .37. A main effect of Gender
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 22
also emerged, F(1,152) = 19.62, p < .001, ηp2 = .11: Women showed greater Collective Action
Proclivity than did men (see Table 1). Condition was also a significant factor, F(2,152) = 3.19, p
= .04, ηp2 = .04. As reported in Table 2, participants showed greater proclivity to be involved in
collective action after exposure to the Critique SO as compared to the Control video (p = .02),
with the SO video occupying an intermediate position that did not reliably differ from the other
two conditions.
Importantly, the condition main effect was qualified by a significant Condition x Gender
interaction, F(2,152) = 5.20, p = .007, ηp2 = .06: Compared to women, men showed lower
Collective Action Proclivity after exposure to the Critique SO and the SO clip (ps < .001),
whereas no gender differences were found in the Control video condition. Simple effect analysis
revealed also a significant effect of Condition for women, F(2,152) = 8.39, p < .001, ηp2 = .10,
but not for men (p > .79). As shown in Table 2, for female participants, Collective Action
Proclivity was higher after exposure to the Critique SO than the Control video clip (p < .001),
with the SO video occupying an intermediate position that did not reliably differ from the other
two conditions.
Behavioral Intentions
Similar to Collective Action Proclivity, we conducted an ANCOVA, with Gender and
Condition as the between-participants variables and with SDO as a covariate. Again, SDO was a
significant covariate F(1,152) = 18.63, p < .001, ηp2 = .11. No main effect emerged. Although the
interaction between Gender and Condition did not reach conventional statistical significance,
F(1,152) = 2.52, p = .08, ηp2 = .03, it is worthwhile to notice that after exposure to the Critique
SO women showed a tendency to take action against media objectification of women to a greater
extent, as compared to the Control condition (p = .05). Moreover, a difference between men and
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 23
women emerged in the SO video condition (p = .04), with men expressing lower behavioral
intentions.
Moderated Mediation Analyses
Two moderated mediation models were conducted to test whether collective action
antecedents (i.e., Perspective-taking, Guilt, Anger, Action Support, and Group Efficacy)
mediated the relation between Condition and either Collective Action Proclivity or Behavioral
Intentions, also considering participants’ Gender as a moderator. Using PROCESS
computational tool for conditional process analysis (Hayes, 2013), Collective Action Proclivity
was used as the criterion variable in the first model. Given that video Condition was a categorical
variable with three levels, we created two dummy-coded variables. Specifically, Dummy 1 tested
for the effect of the Critique SO (coded +1) versus SO condition (coded 0) and Control condition
(coded 0). Dummy 2 tested for the effect of the SO condition (coded +1) versus Control (coded
0) and Critique SO condition (coded 0). Dummy 1 and Dummy 2 were simultaneously entered in
the moderated mediation model as predictors (see Hayes 2013 for testing multiple IVs in
PROCESS), with Gender (male = 0, female = 1) as moderator and SDO (centered) as controlling
covariate. Perspective-taking, Guilt, Anger, Action Support, and Group Efficacy were modeled
as centered parallel mediators. For all models Variance Inflation Factors showed no
multicollinearity problems (max VIF = 3.30). Figure 1 summarizes results for Dummy 1. In line
with multivariate analyses, the effect of Dummy 1 x Gender interaction was significant only on
Guilt, b = 1.49, t = 2.75, p = .007, and Anger, b = 1.31, t = 2.88, p = .005, whereas the effect of
Dummy 2 x Gender interaction was significant only on Perspective-taking, b = 1.13, t = 2.38, p =
.02. Therefore, the exposure to the Critique SO (vs. SO and Control) video increased women’s,
but not men’s, guilt and anger for the situation in which women are treated in Italian society. On
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 24
the contrary, the exposure to the SO video (vs. Critique SO and Control) increased women’s, but
not men’s, understanding for the humiliating position of women in Italy. Crucially, when Anger,
Guilt, Perspective-taking, Action Support, Group Efficacy, and the two Dummies (Dummy 1 and
Dummy 2) were entered simultaneously in the model predicting Collective Action Proclivity,
only the effect of Anger was significant, b = .71, t = 8.71, p < .001, indicating that participants’
Anger (but not Guilt, Perspective-taking, Action Support, or Group Efficacy) affected women’s
proclivity to collective action. Noticeably, whereas the direct effects of Dummy 1 and Dummy 2
on Collective Action Proclivity were not significant (bs < -.39, ts < -1.10, ps > .27; see Hayes,
2009, for a discussion), bootstrap bias corrected CI (with 5000 bootstrap samples) of the overall
moderated mediation index for Anger was entirely above zero, = .94; 95% CI [.33, 1.74], thus
confirming that Anger mediated the relation between Critique SO versus Control and SO
condition and women’s, but not men’s, Collective Action Proclivity.
An identical moderated mediation model was then conducted using Behavioral Intentions
as the final outcome (see Figure 2 for results for Dummy 1). Unsurprisingly, the paths were
similar to the previous model: Anger was found to be the sole significant mediator, b = .36 t =
3.85, p < .001, with bootstrap bias corrected CI (with 5000 bootstrapping samples) of the overall
moderated mediation index not including zero, = .47; 95% CI [.14, .93]. Therefore, Anger
mediated also the relation between Critique SO versus Control and SO condition (Dummy 1) and
women’s Behavioral Intentions
Discussion
In the present study we investigated the effects of exposure to objectifying TV images,
either by itself or combined with a critique aimed at raising people’s awareness, on individuals’
collective action proclivity and behavioral intention to take action against the degrading
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 25
depiction of women in the media. Several important results emerged. First, in line with our
predictions, after exposure to the critique video (vs. control video), female participants were
more prone to recognize the disadvantaged position of women in Italian society (perspective-
taking), and they felt angrier and guiltier for the way in which Italian media and society treat
women. After exposure to the critique video clip, women were also more willing to show a
proclivity toward collective action, as compared to women in the control condition. Importantly,
the same pattern of results emerged at the level of behavioral intentions. Women were more
likely to support the cause against the widespread objectification of women in the media (e.g.,
project signing a petition and participating in a rally) after exposure to the critique (vs. control)
video, whereas the experimental video condition did not affect men, who, compared to women,
showed lower action tendencies after exposure to the blatant sexually objectifying video.
An even more important result of the present study comes from the moderated mediation
analyses, which shed light on the mechanism underlying the effects of video exposure. For
women, but not men, anger was found to be the unique mediator of the positive effect of the
critique video (vs. sexually objectified and control videos) on collective action proclivity, as well
as on behavioral intentions to react. Overall, these findings are consistent with previous research
(Ellemers & Barreto, 2009; Iyer & Ryan, 2009; van Zomeren et al., 2004) and with the dynamic
dual pathway model (van Zomeren et al., 2012), both of which indicate anger as one crucial path
through which collective action responses of disadvantaged groups unfold. Consistently, in the
present study women, who are the target of sexual objectification in the media, showed greater
anger for their disadvantaged situation after exposure to critique messages compared to exposure
to either the un-critiqued sexualized images or the control video. Female anger, in turn, triggered
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 26
higher collective action proclivity and behavioral intentions to support the cause against media
sexual objectification.
Two further important findings emerged from the present study. First, we investigated the
role played by social dominance orientation in affecting participants’ collective action proclivity.
SDO was negatively related to both men’s and women’s level of collective action predictors,
collective action proclivity, and to participants’ behavioral intention to support the cause against
female sexual objectification in the media. Thus, in line with previous studies (Pratto et al., 2000;
Pratto et al., 1994), the present findings suggest that the endorsement of inequality beliefs may
reduce people’s willingness to engage in collective action.
Second, habitual exposure to sexually objectifying TV was generally associated with
lower levels of collective action proclivity, as well as with women’s lower behavioral intention
to support the cause. These results extend previous research showing that frequent exposure to
sexualized media increases endorsement of stereotypical gender roles and the view of women as
sexual objects (Peter & Valkenburg, 2007; Ward, 2002; Ward & Friedman, 2006). In sum, the
overall pattern of results suggests that the chronic exposure to objectifying media might lead to
the dangerous assumption that such female portrayal is the norm, thus further reducing people’s
likelihood to react.
Going back to objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), constant exposure to
sexualized images by media in everyday life may have important negative repercussions for
women’s psychological and cognitive well-being (Moradi & Huang, 2008, for a review). Recent
research has proposed media literacy as a crucial intervention strategy that might help temper the
negative outcomes of sexual objectification (APA, 2010; Calogero & Tylka, 2014; Tylka &
August Horwarth, 2011). Furthermore, some research has shown that media literacy intervention
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 27
aimed at challenging the unrealistic beauty ideals proposed by media may reduce not only the
internalization of such ideals, but also women’s body dissatisfaction (Halliwell et al., 2011;
Irving et al., 1998; Watson & Vaughn, 2006). However, to date little is known about the
potential efficacy of such strategies on people’s willingness to take action. Therefore, the
positive effects produced by the critique video used in the present study are encouraging. Our
results not only respond to the recent APA report (2010) pointing to the exponential increase of
sexualized images proposed by media, but also have important implications for implementing
and testing the efficacy of intervention programs. We demonstrate that sensitizing campaigns,
such as Zanardo’s (Zanardo et al., 2009), could represent, at least for women, a powerful tool to
raise awareness and to motivate individuals to engage in collective action aimed at improving
media portrayals of women.
Limitations and Future Research Directions
The reaction of men in the present study is complex and deserves closer analysis. First,
when simply exposed to sexually objectifying TV without any reasoned critique, men expressed
less support for women’s cause than women did. This result is in line with previous research
showing that exposure to sexually objectifying media increases men’s endorsement of masculine
gender role norms and proclivity to sexual harassment (Galdi et al., 2014). The present results
are also in line with findings by Vaes, Paladino, and Puvia (2011) who showed that men tend to
dehumanize sexually objectified women when sexually attracted by them. Therefore, not
surprisingly, in the current study, after exposure to sexually objectified depiction of women, men
showed lower intention to take part in collective action fighting for gender equality. At the same
time, men did not manifest any willingness to participate in collective action even after the
exposure to a reasoned critique of such sexualized TV portrayals. The present results indicate
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 28
that exposure to comments against the degrading TV portrayals of women may be effective to
motivate women, but not men, to take action.
Clearly, further research is needed to investigate potential factors that may increase men’s
engagement in social activism to improve women’s condition. As a case in point, in the present
study the background voice of the critique video was female and addressed specifically media
sexual objectification of women. This may have suggested to male participants that sexist and
objectifying media are mostly a female problem and that men cannot do much to improve the
situation. Future studies should test whether a male critique voice, possibly combined with
evidence that men may also suffer from media objectification, would enhance men’s
involvement in the issue of sexual objectification, thus making it an across-gender cause.
Addressing men explicitly, as Emma Watson did in her famous UN speech in September
2014 as part of the HeForShe campaign, may be an effective strategy to raise men’s awareness
and willingness to take action. These suggestions would also be in line with Calogero and Tylka
(2014, p. 765), who have recently argued that sexual objectification could be more effectively
harnessed if its rejection was framed “as endorsed by and for the betterment of the broader
society.” Showing that media sexual objectification is harmful for the entire society and
portraying men as part of the solution, rather than the problem, might therefore provide a
promising approach to involve men in collective action.
An additional limit of the present study concerns potential demand characteristics, given
that we did not explicitly test for suspicion. Thus, we cannot exclude that expectancy effects may
partially be responsible for gender differences, with men displaying more reactance to influence
attempts of the critique video (Klein et al., 2012). Moreover, we did not explore which specific
aspects of the critique participants remembered better, which would allow us to identify the most
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 29
effective characteristics of the critique message. Future research is needed to address both of
these issues.
Although the moderated mediation model clearly supports the mediating effect of anger
in the relation between the critique (vs. sexually objectified and control) video exposure and
women’s behavioral intentions, the non-significant effect of condition in the univariate analysis
merits further consideration. We argue that because the behavioral measure adopted in the
present study is in itself a critique against sexual objectification, it may have reduced the
difference between conditions, thus undermining the effect of the critique condition. In addition,
except for guilt, univariate analyses supported a positive effect of the critique against the control
(but not against the pure sexually objectifying) video, thus suggesting a more general
reactiveness of women against sexually objectifying contents regardless of the presence or
absence of a critical point of view. However, the moderated mediation models dispel this
alternative interpretation, showing that it is the unique contribution of the critique video that is
responsible for increasing women’s anger and consequently their collective action responses.
Another aspect that deserves attention in future studies is the potential role of guilt.
Women (but not men) felt more responsible for the situation after having been exposed to the
critique video than in the other conditions. This might have occurred because only the critique
condition specifically proposed a reflection about female representation in the media, which
might have elicited an assumption of responsibility by women. Nonetheless, guilt played no
mediating role in the present study. Although guilt does not seem to be a driving force in
collective action, it may well drive other reactions to objectifying media, a question to be
investigated in future research. Future studies might also include shame in the model because,
contrary to guilt, it has been shown to predict avoidance tendencies especially when the
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 30
discrimination is perceived as other-caused (Schmader & Lickel, 2006).
A final potential limitation of the present study is its ecological validity: The main
findings of the study are based on a 3-minute video, representing an artificial concentration of
real Italian TV programs. However, because TV in Italy (and possibly in other western and non-
western countries) portrays highly sexist and objectifying scenarios very frequently, our results
may well be an underestimation of the real effects of daily exposure to such degrading TV
depictions in western countries. Nevertheless, we deem it necessary for future research to extend
the present findings to different cultural contexts and to also test other media literacy
manipulations and stimuli.
Practice Implications
The present findings are especially important for their practical implications. Because the
present study is, to our knowledge, the first that tested the efficacy of a critique video on
women’s collective reaction, additional research is needed before general conclusions can be
drawn. However, our findings are encouraging because they suggest that media literacy
messages in the form of critique video clips may be valuable tools to promote more active and
critical media consumption, as well as to encourage proactive reactions (Tylka & Agustus-
Horwarth, 2011). We do not claim that this approach is the only, or even the most efficient,
intervention to mobilize media consumers. Nonetheless, the current approach provides a possible
tool that media specialists, concerned citizens, and social media activists may use to motivate
women to take action in favor of a more balanced portrayal of men and women in the media.
Conclusions
The present study provides novel evidence that exposure to media literacy messages,
such as a critique aimed at sensitizing people and raising their awareness of sexually objectifying
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 31
practices in the media, increases women’s proclivity to take action and willingness to stand
against such objectifying and degrading portrayals. Importantly, the present study indicates that
anger is the mechanism underlying women’s proactive responses. Hopefully our findings will
stimulate further research to test the efficacy of campaigns and interventions to promote a critical
approach toward the media, such as Zanardo’s (2011) project, “A new look at the media,” which
aimed at training adolescents and educators to approach the media with a critical eye.
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 32
References
Abramson, E., & Valene, P. (1991). Media use, dietary restraint, bulimia, and attitudes toward
obesity: A preliminary study. British Review of Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa, 5, 73-76.
Aiello, A., Chirumbolo, A., Leone, L., & Pratto, F. (2005). Uno studio di adattamento e
validazione della Scala di orientamento/tendenza alla dominanza sociale [A study on the
adaptation and validation of the Social Dominance Orientation scale]. Rassegna di
Psicologia, 22, 65-75.
American Psychological Association. (2010). Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization
of Girls. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report-full.pdf
Archer, D., Iritani, B., Kimes, D. D., & Barrios, M. (1983). Face-ism: Five studies of sex
differences in facial prominence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 725-
735.
Aubrey, J. S. (2006). Effects of sexually objectifying media on self-objectification and body
surveillance in undergraduates: Results of a 2-year panel study. Journal of
Communication, 56, 366-386. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2006.00024.x
Aubrey, J. S. (2007). The impact of sexually objectifying media exposure on negative body
emotions and sexual self-perceptions: Investigating the mediating role of body self-
consciousness. Mass Communication and Society, 10, 1-23. doi:
10.1080/15205430709337002
Aubrey, J. S., & Frisby, C. M. (2011). Sexual objectification in music videos: A content analysis
comparing gender and genre. Mass Communication and Society, 14, 475-501. doi:
10.1080/15205436.2010.513468
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 33
Barreto, M. E., Ryan, M. K., & Schmitt, M. T. (2009). The glass ceiling in the 21st century:
Understanding barriers to gender equality. Washington, DC: American Psychological
Association.
Bartky, S. L. (1990). Femininity and domination: Studies in the phenomenology of oppression.
New York: Routledge.
Becker, J. C., & Wright, S. C. (2011). Yet another dark side of chivalry: Benevolent sexism
undermines and hostile sexism motivates collective action for social change. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 62-77. doi: 10.1037/a0022615
Bongiorno, R., Bain, P. G., & Haslam, N. (2013). When sex doesn’t sell: Using sexualized
images of women reduces support for ethical campaigns. PLoS ONE, 8: e83311. doi:
10.1371/journal.pone.0083311
Calogero, R. M. (2013). Objects don’t object: evidence that self-objectification disrupts women’s
social activism. Psychological Science, 24, 312-318. doi: 10.1177/0956797612452574
Calogero, R. M., & Tylka, T. L. (2014). Sanctioning resistance to sexual objectification: An
integrative system justification perspective. Journal of Social Issues, 70, 763-778.
Centro Studi Investimenti Sociali [CENSIS], (2006). Women and media in Europe. Retrieved
from http://www.censis.it/7?shadow_comunicato_stampa=5130
Conley, T. D., & Ramsey, L. R. (2011). Killing us softly? Investigating portrayals of women and
men in contemporary magazine advertisements. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 35,
469-478. doi: 10.1177/0361684311413383
Ellemers, N., & Barreto, M. (2009). Collective action in modern times: How modern expressions
of prejudice prevent collective action. Journal of Social Issues, 65, 749-768. doi:
10.1111/j.1540-4560.2009.01621.x
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 34
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. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1997.tb00108
Flood, M. (2001). Mens collective anti-violence activism and the struggle for gender justice.
Development, 44, 42-47. doi: 10.1057/palgrave.development.1110260
Flood, M. (2005). Men’s collective struggles for gender justice. In M. S. Kimmel, J. Hearn, & R.
W. Connell (Eds.), Handbook of studies on men and masculinities (pp. 458-465).
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Fouts, G., & Burggraf, K. (2000). Television situation comedies: Female weight, male negative
comments, and audience reactions. Sex Roles, 42, 925-932. doi:
10.1023/A:1007054618340
Galdi, S., Maass, A., & Cadinu, M. (2014). Objectifying media: Their effect on gender role
norms and sexual harassment of women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 38, 398-413.
doi: 10.1177/0361684313515185
Grabe, S., Ward, L. M., & Hyde, J. S. (2008). The role of the media in body image concerns
among women: A meta-analysis of experimental and correlational studies. Psychological
Bulletin, 134, 460-476. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.134.3.460
Halliwell, E., Easun, A., & Harcourt, D. (2011). Body dissatisfaction: Can a short media literacy
message reduce negative media exposure effects amongst adolescent girls? British
Journal of Health Psychology, 16, 396-403. doi: 10.1348/135910710X515714
Hayes, A. F. (2009). Beyond Baron and Kenny: Statistical mediation analysis in the new
millennium. Communication Monographs, 76, 408-420. doi:
10.1080/03637750903310360
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 35
Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A
regression-based approach. New York: Guilford Press.
Hargreaves, D. A., & Tiggemann, M. (2004). Idealized media images and adolescent body
image: “Comparing” boys and girls. Body Image, 1, 351-361. doi:
10.1016/j.bodyim.2004.10.002
Hatton, E., & Trautner, M. N. (2011). Equal opportunity objectification? The sexualization of
men and women on the cover of Rolling Stone. Sexuality and Culture, 15, 256-278. doi:
10.1007/s12119-011-9093-2
Holmstrom, A. (2004). The effects of the media on body image: A meta-analysis. Journal of
Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 48, 196-217. doi: 10.1207/s15506878jobem4802_3
Irving, L. M., DuPen, J., & Berel, S. (1998). A media literacy program for high school females.
Eating Disorders, 6, 119-131. doi: 10.1080/10640269808251248
Iyer, A., & Ryan, M. K. (2009). Why do men and women challenge gender discrimination in the
workplace? The role of group status and in‐group identification in predicting pathways to
collective action. Journal of Social Issues, 65, 791-814. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-
4560.2009.01625.x
Jeong, S. H., Cho, H., & Hwang, Y. (2012). Media literacy interventions: A metaanalytic
review. Journal of Communication, 62, 454-472. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2012.01643.x
Klein, O., Doyen, S., Leys, C., Miller, S., Questienne, L., & Cleeremans, A. (2012). Low hopes,
high expectations expectancy effects and the replicability of behavioral experiments.
Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 572-584. doi: 10.1177/1745691612463704
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 36
Leach, C. W., Iyer, A., & Pedersen, A. (2006). Anger and guilt about ingroup advantage explain
the willingness for political action. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 1232-
1245. doi: 10.1177/0146167206289729
Liss, M., Crawford, M., & Popp, D. (2004). Predictors and correlates of collective action. Sex
Roles, 50, 771-779. doi: 10.1023/B:SERS.0000029096.90835.3f
Malamuth, N., & Check, J. (1981). The effects of mass media exposure on acceptance of
violence against women: A field experiment. Journal of Research in Personality, 15,
436-446.
Mallett, R. K., Huntsinger, J. R., Sinclair, S., & Swim, J. K. (2008). Seeing through their eyes:
When majority group members take collective action on behalf of an outgroup. Group
Processes and Intergroup Relations, 11, 451-470. doi: 10.1177/1368430208095400
MacKay, N., & Covell, K. (1997). The impact of women in advertisements on attitudes toward
women. Sex Roles, 36, 573-583. doi: 10.1023/A:1025613923786
Milburn, M., Mather, R., & Conrad, S. (2000). The effects of viewing R-rated movie scenes that
objectify women on perceptions of date rape. Sex Roles, 43, 645-664. doi:
10.1023/A:1007152507914
Moradi, B., & Huang, Y. P. (2008). Objectification theory and psychology of women: A decade
of advance and future directions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32, 377-398. doi:
10.1111/ j.1471-6402.2008.00452.x
Nelson, J. A., Liss, M., Erchull, M. J., Hurt, M. M., Ramsey, L. R., Turner, D. L., & Haines, M.
E. (2008). Identity in action: Predictors of feminist self-identification and collective
action. Sex Roles, 58, 721-728. doi: 10.1007/s11199-007-9384-0
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 37
Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2007). Adolescents’ exposure to a sexualized media environment
and their notions of women as sex objects. Sex Roles, 56, 381-395. doi: 10.1007/s11199-
006-9176-y
Postmes, T., & Smith, L. G. E. (2009). Why do the privileged resort to oppression? A look at
some intra-group factors. Journal of Social Issues, 65, 769-790. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-
4560.2009.01624
Pratto, F., Liu, J. H., Levin, S., Sidanius, J., Shih, M., Bachrach, H., & Hegarty, P. (2000). Social
dominance orientation and the legitimization of inequality across cultures. Journal of
Cross-Cultural Psychology, 31, 369-409. doi: 10.1177/0022022100031003005
Pratto, F., Sidanius, J., Stallworth, L. M., & Malle, B. F. (1994). Social dominance orientation: A
personality variable predicting social and political attitudes. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 67, 741-763. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.67.4.741
Pratto, F., Stallworth, L. M., & Sidanius, J. (1997). The gender gap: Differences in political
attitudes and social dominance orientation. British Journal of Social Psychology, 36, 49-
68. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8309.1997.tb01118.x
Puvia, E., & Vaes, J. (2013). Being a body: Women’s appearance related self-views and their
dehumanization of sexually objectified female targets. Sex Roles, 68, 484-495. doi:
10.1007/s11199-012-0255-y
Schmader, T., & Lickel, B. (2006). The approach and avoidance function of guilt and shame
emotions: Comparing reactions to self-caused and other-caused wrongdoing. Motivation
and Emotion, 30, 42-55. doi: 10.1007/s11031-006-9006-0
Smith, S. L., Choueiti, M., Scofield, E., & Pieper, K. (2013). Gender inequality in 500 popular
films: Examining on-screen portrayals and behind-the-scenes employment patterns in
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 38
motion pictures released between 2007-2012. Study by the University of Southern
California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Retrieved from
http://annenberg.usc.edu/pages/~/media/MDSCI/Gender_Inequality_in_500_Popular_Fil
ms_-_Smith_2013.ashx
Tylka, T. L., & Augustus-Horvath, C. L. (2011). Fighting self-objectification in prevention and
intervention contexts. In R. Calogero, S. Tantleff-Dunn, & J. Thompson (Eds.), Self-
objectification in women: Causes, consequences, and counteractions (pp. 187-214).
Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
United Nation. (2014). HeforShe, gender equality campaign. Information available here
http://www.heforshe.org/en
Vaes, J., Paladino, P., & Puvia, E. (2011) Are sexualized women complete human beings?
Why men and women dehumanize sexually objectified women. European Journal of
Social Psychology, 41, 774-785. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.824
Vandenbosch, L., Vervloessem, D., & Eggermont, S. (2013). “I might get your heart racing in
my skin-tight jeans”: Sexualization on music entertainment television. Communication
Studies, 64, 178-194. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2012.755640
van Zomeren, M., & Iyer, A. (2009). Introduction to the social and psychological dynamics of
collective action. Journal of Social Issues, 65, 645-660. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-
4560.2009.01618.x
van Zomeren, M., Leach, C. W., & Spears, R. (2012). Protesters as “passionate economists” a
dynamic dual pathway model of approach coping with collective disadvantage.
Personality and Social Psychology Review, 16, 180-199. doi:
10.1177/1088868311430835
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 39
van Zomeren, M., Spears, R., Fischer, A. H., & Leach, C. W. (2004). Put your money where
your mouth is! Explaining collective action tendencies through group-based anger and
group efficacy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 649-664. doi:
10.1037/0022-3514.87.5.649
Ward, L. M. (2002). Does television exposure affect emerging adults attitudes and assumptions
about sexual relationships? Correlational and experimental confirmation. Journal of
Youth and Adolescence, 31, 1-15.
Ward, L. M., & Friedman, K. (2006). Using TV as a guide: Associations between television
viewing and adolescents' sexual attitudes and behavior. Journal of Research on
Adolescence, 16, 133-156. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2006.00125.x
Ward, L. M., Merriwether, A., & Caruthers, A. (2006). Breasts are for men: Media, masculinity
ideologies, and men’s beliefs about women’s bodies. Sex Roles, 55, 703-714. doi:
10.1007/s11199-006-9125-9
Watson, R., & Vaughn, L. M. (2006). Limiting the effects of the media on body image: does the
length of a media literacy intervention make a difference? Eating Disorders, 14, 385-400.
doi: 10.1080/10640260600952530
Williams, R., & Wittig, M. A. (1997). “I’m not a feminist, but…”: Factors contributing to the
discrepancy between pro-feminist orientation and feminist social identity. Sex Roles, 37,
885-904. doi: 10.1007/BF02936345
Wright, S. C., & Baray, G. (2012). Models of social change in social psychology: Collective
action or prejudice reduction? Conflict or harmony? In J. Dixon & M. Levine (Eds.),
Beyond prejudice: Extending the social psychology of conflict, inequality and social
change (pp. 225-250). Cambridge University Press.
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 40
Wright, S. C., & Lubensky, M. E. (2009). The struggle for social equality: Collective action
versus prejudice reduction. In S. Demoulin, J. P. Leyens, & J. F. Dovidio (Eds.),
Intergroup misunderstandings: Impact of divergent social realities (pp. 291-310). New
York: Psychology Press.
Zanardo, L., Chindemi, M. M., & Cantù, C. (2009). Il corpo delle donne [Women’s body].
Retrieved from http://www.ilcorpodelledonne.net/english-version/
Zanardo, L. (2011). Nuovi Occhi Per la TV/Formazione [A New Look at the Media/Training
course]. Retrieved from http://www.ilcorpodelledonne.net/nuovi-occhi-per-la-
tvformazione/
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 41
Table 1
Descriptive Statistics and Correlations Among Study Variables By Participants’ Gender.
Women
Men
Correlations
Variables
M (SD)
M (SD)
2
3
4
5
6
7
9
10
11
1. EST
1.92a
(0.44)
1.97a
(0.45)
.44**
.02
.12
-.30**
-.29*
-.25*
.17
-.31**
-.03
2. Video
Evaluation
3.66a
(1.46)
3.61a
(1.31)
--
-.01
-.02
-.21
.02
-.06
.37**
-.13
.02
3. Mood
8.00a
(4.11)
5.64b
(3.34)
-.10
--
.06
-.02
-.09
-.08
.12
-.12
-.08
4. SDO
2.27a
(0.70)
2.47a
(0.70)
-.13
-.26*
--
-.58***
-.55***
-.48***
-.44***
-.51***
-.26*
5. Perspective
Taking
4.11a
(1.70)
3.60a
(1.83)
-.09
.47**
-.58***
--
.55***
.62***
.27*
.60***
.39**
*
6. Guilt
4.57a
(1.85)
3.61b
(1.73)
-.08
.24*
-.30**
.61***
--
.78***
.34**
.72***
.40**
*
7. Anger
4.78a
(1.73)
3.55b
(1.54)
-.08
.43**
-.59***
.85***
.65***
--
.34**
.88***
.53**
*
8. Action
Support
3.31a
(1.40)
3.19a
(1.30)
.03
.08
-.17
.50***
.24*
.38**
.50***
.59***
.38**
9. Group
Efficacy
4.36a
(1.80)
4.38a
(1.65)
-.02
.27*
-.61***
.65***
.43***
.69***
--
.29*
.30**
10. CA
Proclivity
4.04a
(2.05)
2.75b
(1.68)
-.04
.44**
-.73***
.83***
.52***
.83***
.78***
--
.63**
*
11. Behavioral
Intentions
1.27a
(1.27)
1.00a
(1.14)
-.05
.20
-.45***
.56***
.31**
.56***
.42***
.61***
--
Note. Means not sharing a subscript across a row are significantly different at p < .05. For women, zero-order correlations are
presented below the diagonal; for men, above. EST = Exposure to Sexist TV; SDO = Social Dominance Orientation; CA = Collective
Action
* p < .05. ** p < .01. *** p < .001.
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 42
Table 2
Descriptive Statistics for Dependent Measures as a Function of Video Condition and
Participants’ Gender.
Participants’
Critique SO video
SO video
Control video
Measures
Gender
SD
SD
M
SD
Perspective-
Taking
Men
2.21
1.42
4.24b
1.47
Women
1.62
1.60
3.29b
1.46
Total
2.02
1.42
3.76ab
1.53
Guilt
Men
1.65
1.70
4.30a
1.70
Women
1.29
1.67
4.07b
2.08
Total
1.84
1.75
4.18ab
1.89
Anger
Men
1.73
1.29
4.08a
1.50
Women
1.51
1.42
3.67b
1.58
Total
2.02
1.60
3.86a
1.54
Action
Support
Men
1.48
1.16
3.12a
1.30
Women
1.53
1.10
2.88a
1.45
Total
1.51
1.12
2.99a
1.37
Group
Efficacy
Men
1.81
1.24
4.16a
1.87
Women
1.74
1.33
3.32b
1.74
Total
1.80
1.28
3.72b
1.84
CA
Proclivity
Men
1.81
1.40
3.09a
1.77
Women
1.96
1.81
2.96b
1.82
Total
2.21
1.83
3.03b
1.78
Behavioral
Intentions
Men
1.26
0.98
1.12a
1.09
Women
1.34
1.31
0.75b
1.01
Total
1.31
1.21
.92a
1.05
Note. Means across each row that do not share the same subscript are significantly different from
each other at p < .05 level (Bonferroni-adjusted).
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 43
Figure 1. Results of moderated mediation analysis testing the indirect effects of video condition
(1 = Critique SO; 0 = SO; 0 = Control) on collective action proclivity via perspective-taking,
guilt, anger, action support, and group efficacy.
* p < .05. ** p < .01. *** p < .001.
Gender X Video Condition
(Critique SO vs. SO and
Control)
Collective Action
Proclivity
ANGER
GUILT
b = -.14
PERSPECTIVE-
TAKING
ACTION SUPPORT
GROUP EFFICACY
OBJECTING TO OBJECTIFICATION 44
Figure 2. Results of moderated mediation analysis testing the indirect effects of video condition
(1 = Critique SO; 0 = SO; 0 = Control) on behavioral reaction via perspective-taking, guilt,
anger, action support, and group efficacy.
* p < .05. ** p < .01. *** p < .001.
Gender X Video Condition
(Critique SO vs. SO and
Control)
Behavioral Reaction
PERSPECTIVE-
TAKING
GUILT
b = -.39
ANGER
ACTION SUPPORT
GROUP EFFICACY
Online Supplement
Online Supplement for Guizzo, F., Cadinu, M., Galdi, S., Maass, A., & Latrofa, M.
(2017). Objecting to objectification: Women’s collective action against sexual objectification on
television. Sex Roles. Francesca Guizzo, University of Padova. Email: francesca.guizzo@unipd.it
EXPERIMENATAL MANIPULATION:
Description of the SO and Critique SO videos
Please notice that the video in the Critique SO was the same as in the SO condition and was
taken from the original documentary Women’s Body (Zanardo et al., 2009; from the minute
18.48 till the end) except that the SO video did not include the commentary by the author, which
was replaced with pop music. The original video with English subtitles is available at the
following link: https://youtu.be/Y42hqlTmM00
Description of the visual component of SO and Critique SO video (that was identical in the
two conditions).
The video starts with a scene (from a popular daytime program) in which Elisabetta Gregoracci
(an Italian showgirl) is standing on a mechanical surf that is moving. She is wearing a skimpy
dress that, due to her movements, reveals her cleavage and her rear end.
Afterwards the video shows a gallery of very brief scenes taken from daytime or primetime
programs in which, for example, a woman is showing her breast, four young female assistants
wearing aprons pretend to assist the male host with a recipe, and a group of female assistants and
guests are in the background of the scene like decorations while the male host is interviewing a
male guest.
The video progresses by showing some scenes taken from a popular program (Libero), in which,
for example, a woman is presented under a table in a Plexiglas cage, or female assistants scantily
dressed are mocked by the male host.
Then the video shows other scenes in which the host is female, but, for example, she is wearing a
very provocative dress or she is dancing together with a group of scantily dressed soubrettes or
she sensually throws herself with another girl on a sort of mattress. In another scene, the female
host is conducting a game in which a female guest (again wearing a provocative dress) takes a
shower in front of the camera.
The video then shows as an allegory a brief extract from “Kontakthof” ballet by Pina Bausch in
which the dancer is standing still while male dancers touch or fondle her.
The video concludes with the scene in which a woman in underwear is hanging on a hook with
the camera zooming on her rear end, which looks similar to a series of prosciutto hams that are
hanging close to her. The final scene shows a man pretending to brand her rear end like the
prosciutto hams.
Transcription of the audio component of the Critique SO condition, which includes the critique
commentary by Lorella Zanardo (please notice that the video is also available online
https://youtu.be/Y42hqlTmM00 and that the audio of the SO video is pop music).
Zanardo voice over commenting the surfing scene: On the TV show “Bagaglino” a
few weeks after the demeaning “Valettopoli” scandal, Elisabetta Gregoracci confirmed
Online Supplement
her humiliating role in the “sexual favours for TV jobs” scandal by singing “La rumba del
lecca lecca” (the lollipop rumba)”
Zanardo voice over commenting the scenes in which women are just decorations:
At primary school, my teacher taught me to draw “grechine” (pretty little pictures used
as frames or separating lines to introduce a new piece of work on the same page of a
notebook. These were decorative figures that would frame my work. In TV shows,
women acting as decorative frames are like “grechine”, some of them having an erotic
attitude, others just being pretty decorations, young and fresh faces that are there during a
commercial break, or serve as furniture, exactly like pretty little frames (“grechine”).”
Female commentator commenting on the role of women in TV (major daytime Italian TV
program): “Who said that to go on TV you have to have skills? I mean you don’t have to know
how to dance, sing.. They are pretty!”
Zanardo voice over commenting on the famous primetime TV program (Libero) in
which a woman is presented under a table in a Plexiglas cage: “Can a woman crawl
under a Plexiglas table, pretending she is the leg of the table, spend a long time under
there, pretending that it’s only a silly game? Can this be done without leaving a scar
somewhere in her body? And what should people who are watching the program feel
about it? On TV there is a woman, and a man is using her as the leg of a table. When the
program was first aired some people complained about it, but the authors of the program
and the presenter (Mammucari) said that: “the girl is a living sculpture and in the cage she
even has breathing holes”.
Extract from Libero with Mammucari, the TV host playing with two female soubrettes:
“Keep the banana, the orange, the lemon, the apple. You got the lemon?” Female assistant:
“Yes” Mammucari: “No, you don’t even have a brain… Let’s send a message, what’s the name
of the video?” Female assistant: “I don’t know” Mammucari: “See people! .. God damn! You
should work for Schicchi [pornography director]! You would make more money for less trouble.
Mammucari turns to a woman in the audience: “Look at that pretty face. What’s your name?”
Reply: “Chicca” Mammucari: “Chicca.. come here Chicca… Where are your boobs? Did you
leave them at home?”
Zanardo voice over commenting on female hosts: “An infinite number of humiliated
women. Many female adult presenters on Italian TV are as powerful as men, and
somehow they feel the urge to act like men by demeaning the younger women, who have
less power.”….
Zanardo voice over on the allegory of the Bausch’s ballet scene: “For years I believed
that Television had nothing to do with me, or with millions of women who work hard and
who have goals in life. But these images keep appearing on television and keep entering
our homes, feeding fantasies, reaching the eyes of our children and invading the world.
The survival of our identity is at stake.”
Zanardo voice commenting on the woman hanging like a prosciutto ham: “Why
don’t we do something about it? Why can’t we show our own truth? Why do we keep
Online Supplement
accepting this constant humiliation? Why don’t we fight to protect our rights? What are
we afraid of?”
TV PROGRAMS’ PRETEST
A pretest was conducted in which an independent group of N = 20 participants (N = 10 female)
(Mage = 23.80, SDage = 3.05) rated a list of 20 popular Italian TV programs on their level of
sexism (1 = not all sexist, 7 = very sexist) and on the role of women in the program (1 =
decorative, 7 = competent). Twelve programs were selected for the Study, half of which were
rated as more sexist ( = .85, M = 4.30, SD = 1.51) than the other half ( = .83, M = 1.97, SD =
.78), t(19) = 8.07, p < .001. These results did not vary by Gender (p >. 24). Moreover,
participants rated the female role of the six more sexist programs as more decorative ( = .77, M
= 1.61, SD = .76) than the other half ( = .79, M = 4.15, SD = 1.08), t(19) = 9.35, p < .001.
These results did not vary by Gender (p >. 90). Below is the list of the programs selected for the
Study.
Sexist programs:
Chiambretti Night
Ciao Darwin
L’Eredità
Striscia la Notizia
Contro Campo
Veline
Neutral programs:
Geo & Geo
La prova del cuoco
Pomeriggio 5
Zelig
Verissimo
Le Iene
... Although sexual harassment may take different forms (e.g., gender harassment, unwanted sexual attention, and sexual coercion; Dionisi et al., 2012;Karami et al., 2019;Keplinger et al., 2019), sexual objectification is prominent in many forms of sexual harassment. Recent developments in the sexual objectification literature have suggested that whether people take action against sexual objectification depends on their emotional responses towards the sexually objectifying behaviour (Guizzo et al., 2017;Shepherd, 2019;Shepherd & Evans, 2020). We advance the growing body of research assessing sexual objectification in the workplace (e.g., Gervais et al., 2016;Szymanski & Feltman, 2015;Syzmanski & Mikorski, 2017), by testing the role of different emotions in determining whether sexual objectification at work promotes an active response (e.g., reporting the incident), passive response (e.g., ignoring the incident), self-blame response (e.g., thinking the target brough it upon themselves) or a benign response (e.g., viewing the incident as flattering). ...
... In line with appraisal theories (e.g., Smith & Lazarus, 1993), Shepherd (2019) argues that the type of emotion that is felt following sexual objectification is likely to depend on the target's interpretation of the action. For example, people are likely to feel anger when they think someone has treated them illegitimately (e.g., 'it is wrong to objectify me'; Guizzo et al., 2017). Disgust may be felt when people believe the behaviour harms their humanity (e.g., 'this action is treating me as an object'; Rozin et al., 1999). ...
Article
Full-text available
Many people are reluctant to report sexual objectification at work. We tested whether emotions determine how people respond to sexual objectification at work. In Study 1 (N = 159) women recalled a time that they had experienced sexual objectification at work. Participants then rated their emotions in this situation and how they responded. Anger positively and a shame-based emotion (rejection) negatively predicted taking action against the perpetrator (active response). In contrast, shame positively predicted women blaming themselves (self-blame). Moreover, pride positively and anger negatively predicted women viewing the action positively (e.g., as flattering, benign response). In Study 2 (N = 135) women imagined themselves receiving either a highly objectifying or ambiguous comment at work. Being objectified increased negative emotions and decreased pride. Moral outrage (i.e., anger and disgust) positively whilst shame-based emotions negatively predicted active responding. Shame-based emotions positively predicted self-blame, whilst pride positively and anger negatively predicted benign responding. Therefore, emotions determine how people respond to sexual objectification at work. Promoting moral outrage and reducing other emotions (e.g., shame, fear, and pride) may make women (a) more willing to report sexual objectification at work and (b) less likely to blame themselves or view such actions positively (i.e., benign responses).
... By reviewing studies from a recent metaanalysis (Agostini & van Zomeren, 2021), we show that although social injustice research (a) uses fewer labels and operationalizations than environmental protection research, it (b) would benefit from the triple-A framework to successfully distinguish different agents, actions, aims, and their links. The meta-analysis that provided the basis for our review covered topics such as racial discrimination , gender discrimination (Guizzo et al., 2017), student protests , and national sovereignty (Klavina & van Zomeren, 2020; see Agostini & van Zomeren, 2021). Of the 211 studies available to us, 99 met our inclusion criteria as they measured efficacy beliefs, reported items in a usable way, were published in English, and did not include concepts other than efficacy in their measure. ...
Article
Full-text available
Social and ecological crises require people to act together, for instance, against climate change or social injustice. Psychological scholarship suggests that human agency, in terms of individuals’ self-efficacy and collective efficacy, plays a crucial role in motivating people to act for a better world. However, progress in this field and hence the utilization of its accumulated knowledge is hindered by manifold conceptualizations and operationalizations. We therefore identify key problems in how the concept of self-efficacy has evolved and been used in the domain of environmental protection and then present a conceptual solution: the triple-A framework. This framework organizes and integrates theoretical insights by differentiating which agents, actions, and aims are involved in assessments of efficacy. We then illustrate the framework’s broader application and highlight recommendations for improved measurement of self-efficacy beliefs. We further offer a research agenda on how human agency can be utilized to promote social and ecological aims. Public Abstract Many people do not act together against climate change or social inequalities because they feel they or their group cannot make a difference. Understanding how people come to feel that they can achieve something (a perception of self-efficacy) is therefore crucial for motivating people to act together for a better world. However, it is difficult to summarize already existing self-efficacy research because previous studies have used many different ways of naming and measuring it. In this article, we uncover the problems that this raises and propose the triple-A framework as a solution. This new framework shows which agents, actions, and aims are important for understanding self-efficacy. By offering specific recommendations for measuring self-efficacy, the triple-A framework creates a basis for mobilizing human agency in the context of climate change and social injustice.
... Another example is the study by Greene, et al. (2018), who also implemented a pre-and post-test correlational research design, measuring how 53 college students' digital literacy skills were related to their understandings of science. Finally, Guizzo, et al. (2017) studied how media exposure could promote engagement in collective action to reduce women's objectification in northern Italy. This study was done by randomly assigning participants to one of three groups (one control group and two intervention groups) and measuring their reactions to different television content. ...
Article
Full-text available
Social media affects and is affected by our literacies — the way we make, share, and produce a sense of what is happening in these digital spaces. The purpose of this paper is to explore the methodological landscape of literacy research on social media. To achieve this, 161 papers that have explored social media and literacies were systematically reviewed. Results show that most of the research studies reviewed relied on qualitative methods as the dominant mode of obtaining information, although many integrated several data sources. Additionally, findings show that most studies do not use social media data and instead rely on traditional data sources, such as surveys. Overall, this study highlights opportunities for researchers to explore the connection between social media and literacies in innovative ways.
... Relevansi tindakan kolektif untuk kesetaraan gender (Guizzo et al., 2017) merupakan salah satu cara paling efektif untuk memberantas seksisme (Becker et al., 2014). Tindakan kolektif dapat memerangi seksisme sistemik di tingkat masyarakat yang dilakukan oleh individu yang mentolerir seksisme secara terbuka. ...
Article
Full-text available
The head of the Tokyo Olympics, Yoshiro Mori, was criticized for making sexist remarks. He gave opinion about the Japanese Olympic Committee's goal of increasing the number of female board directors from 20% to more than 40%, Mori stated that it would affect the length of the meeting because women talking too much. Mori's sexist remarks show that patriarchy and gender equality are still a problem in Japan. This paper examines Yoshiro Mori’s sexist remarks through a feminist approach. Data culled from newspaper reports about Mori's sexist remarks. This research is qualitative research with an interactive analysis method. The results of the study show that Mori's sexist remarks are gender stereotypes that are concluded by essentialism. These gender stereotypes limit the role of women in the public sphere. Collective action needs to be promoted to confront sexism in society and build gender awareness.
... neutral humor) enhanced participants' proclivity to participate in collective action in support of gender equality (Study 1) as well as their behavioral intentions (Study 2). Guizzo et al. (2017) found that Italian women who viewed a sexually objectifying television clip that was accompanied by a commentary advocating against the degradation of women reported a greater proclivity toward collective action along with stronger behavioral intentions, motivated by anger, than a control condition. These studies, along with other research exploring potential predictors of endorsing and taking feminist action, offer directions for feminist activists who seek to promote social justice and change. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Este estudio pretende conocer si existe desigualdad en los medios digitales deportivos españoles en la cantidad de información sobre ambos sexos en las noticias sobre los Juegos Olímpicos de Río 2016 en relación con la participación de estos y la obtención de medallas, pero también busca profundizar en las diferencias de representación, así como en los discursos que transmiten estos diarios según el sexo de sus protagonistas. Para abordar tales objetivos esta investigación realiza un primer análisis de contenido de carácter multi-metodológico, que permite combinar enfoques cuantitativos y cualitativos (Cantón et al. 2002), a través de la recopilación de patrones reiterativos que otorgan fiabilidad a la hora de generalizar las conclusiones sobre los hallazgos obtenidos, a la vez que los enfoques cualitativos ofrecen mayor nivel de profundidad, inducción y reflexión de los resultados (Neuendorf, 2004). Para esta dimensión cuantitativa se realiza un estudio de todas las noticias publicadas en los cuatro diarios digitales españoles de mayor número de lectores (Marca, As, Mundo Deportivo y Sport) entre julio y septiembre de 2016, incluyendo así el mes previo a la celebración de los Juegos de Río 2016, el periodo propiamente olímpico (del 5 al 21 de agosto), así como el mes posterior a estos, para conocer si se producen cambios significativos entre el momento de la competición y fechas distintas a esta. Para ello, se ha realizado un barrido completo durante todo el periodo descrito por las secciones de hemeroteca y archivo digital de cada uno de tales diarios. En total se han volcado, sistematizado y analizado N=7.634 unidades informativas a partir de 51 variables de análisis diferentes, que se han organizado en torno a tres bloques, uno relativo a las unidades informativas, otro a los recursos semióticos y el último a los protagonistas de las informaciones, empleando para su codificación y análisis el programa estadístico IBM SPSS Statistics 24. Tras finalizar este primer análisis descriptivo general y una vez revisados los resultados obtenidos, se propone profundizar en el estudio de las noticias a través de una investigación de carácter cualitativo mediante análisis discursivos. Para abordarlos, se realiza una selección de las unidades informativas mediante un muestreo aleatorio estratificado siguiendo unos parámetros preestablecidos para conseguir que la muestra a analizar fuese lo más variada y representativa posible y centrada en los días de competición olímpica y en la información estrictamente deportiva. Esto permitió seleccionar N=39 unidades de análisis, que fueron volcadas y sistematizadas en un programa de tratamiento de informaciones, ATLAS ti. v.7, tras lo cual, se realizó un primer análisis para conocer los Valores Noticia presentes en las informaciones (Bednarek y Caple, 2017), que se combinó posteriormente con un Análisis Crítico del Discurso desde una perspectiva feminista, con el objetivo de profundizar en los discursos empleados por estos medios (Machin y Mayr, 2012). Los análisis discursivos han permitido desvelar los encuadres noticiosos utilizados por los diarios para transmitir las informaciones (McCombs y Ghanem, 2001) a través del estudio de las elecciones léxicas y visuales de las noticias, comprobar si existen diferencias entre ambos sexos e identificar los mecanismos a través de los cuales estas se crean.
Article
Full-text available
Este artículo presenta una revisión de la literatura en torno a las acciones colectivas y los repertorios de acción de movimientos feministas. El objetivo es conocer el estado del arte y reflexionar sobre las potencialidades que estas categorías analíticas aportan al estudio de las distintas expresiones del movimiento feminista en el contexto actual. Para ello, se ha llevado a cabo una revisión sistematizada de la literatura publicada entre 1994 y 2020 en torno a los repertorios de acción colectiva feminista en la base de datos Web of Science. A partir de una selección final de 63 artículos, los principales resultados de la investigación revelan el fenómeno de la transnacionalización y las alianzas transfronterizas entre activistas feministas; la relevancia de los feminismos del Sur Global; la relación bidireccional que se produce entre el activismo feminista y el activismo en espacios digitales, así como la incorporación de la epistemología feminista en el estudio de este fenómeno.
Article
Full-text available
Sociopsychological theorizing and research on collective action (e.g., social protests) has mushroomed over the last decade, studying a wide variety of groups, contexts, and cultures. Through a quantitative research synthesis of four motivations for collective action (1,235 effects from 403 samples; total N = 123,707), we summarize and synthesize this body of research into the dual chamber model, a comprehensive and potentially cross-cultural model of collective action. We aim to replicate previous meta-analytic conclusions (about identity, injustice, and efficacy) and break new theoretical ground by (a) integrating a fourth motivation (morality) into the very heart of the psychology of collective action, (b) extending these four motivations to advantaged group members acting in solidarity with the disadvantaged, and (c) integrating theoretically relevant structural (i.e., cultural and other contextual) constraints. Results substantiated the dual chamber model as all four motivations yielded unique, positive, medium-sized effects and interrelationships were positive (particularly among morality and identity, conceptualized as the dual chambers of the protester's beating heart). Meta-analytic structural equation modeling supported the added value of including morality. Moreover, findings confirmed that the strongest specific motivations were emotional injustice and politicized identification, while newly adding moral conviction to that list. Finally, the four motivations extended to advantaged group members acting in solidarity with the disadvantaged, while only the identity motivation was constrained by theoretically relevant cultural dimensions and values (e.g., collectivism and hierarchy). We discuss the implications and limitations of the dual chamber model for integrative theorizing, innovative research, and the practice of collective action. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Book
Full-text available
Since the term "glass ceiling" was first coined in 1984, women have made great progress in terms of leadership equality with men in the workplace. Despite this, women are still under-represented in the upper echelons of organizations. In this volume, leading psychologists from the United States, Canada, and the European Union go beyond social commentary, anecdotal evidence and raw statistics to explain and offer remedies for this continued inequality, based on empirical evidence. Subtle barriers to women's advancement to and success in leadership positions are a major focus, such as women being recruited for upper-level positions that are associated with a high risk of failure or women managers being stereotyped as either competent or warm (but not both). Solutions that can be practically implemented are offered at different levels of analysis, including organizational (e.g., affirmative action), work group (e.g., diversity management), and individual (e.g., cross-cultural networking). Other obstacles associated with breaking through the glass ceiling include more nuanced forms of gender stereotyping, tokenism, and sexual harassment. The somewhat surprising effects of affirmative action and family friendly policies are also examined. As this volume explores women's current experiences in the workplace, a critical emphasis is making visible what women encounter as their career trajectory ascends and suggesting how they can enhance their career choices and thrive in the hard-won positions they attain.
Article
Full-text available
Images of scantily clad women are used by advertisers to make products more attractive to men. This "sex sells" approach is increasingly employed to promote ethical causes, most prominently by the animal-rights organization PETA. Yet sexualized images can dehumanize women, leaving an unresolved paradox - is it effective to advertise an ethical cause using unethical means? In Study 1, a sample of Australian male undergraduates (N = 82) viewed PETA advertisements containing either sexualized or non-sexualized images of women. Intentions to support the ethical organization were reduced for those exposed to the sexualized advertising, and this was explained by their dehumanization of the sexualized women, and not by increased arousal. Study 2 used a mixed-gender community sample from the United States (N = 280), replicating this finding and extending it by showing that behaviors helpful to the ethical cause diminished after viewing the sexualized advertisements, which was again mediated by the dehumanization of the women depicted. Alternative explanations relating to the reduced credibility of the sexualized women and their objectification were not supported. When promoting ethical causes, organizations may benefit from using advertising strategies that do not dehumanize women.
Article
Full-text available
Across two studies we investigated the hypothesis that exposure to objectifying television in which women are shown as sexual objects increases the likelihood of harassing conduct. In both studies (Ns = 141; 120), male participants were exposed to one of three TV clips in which women were portrayed (a) as sexual objects (objectifying TV), (b) in professional roles, or (c) excluded (a nature documentary). Study 1 showed that men exposed to objectifying TV reported greater proclivity to engage in sexual coercion and manifested more gender-harassing behavior than participants in the other conditions. Study 2 further demonstrated that exposure to objectifying TV increased participants’ conformity to masculine gender role norms, which, in turn, mediated the relation between experimental condition and gender harassment. Together, the two studies suggest that media content plays a central role in activating harassment-related social norms, which in turn encourage or inhibit harassing conduct.
Chapter
The concept of prejudice has profoundly influenced how we have investigated, explained and tried to change intergroup relations of discrimination and inequality. But what has this concept contributed to our knowledge of relations between groups and what has it obscured or misrepresented? How has it expanded or narrowed the horizons of psychological inquiry? How effective or ineffective has it been in guiding our attempts to transform social relations and institutions? In this book, a team of internationally renowned psychologists re-evaluate the concept of prejudice, in an attempt to move beyond conventional approaches to the subject and to help the reader gain a clearer understanding of relations within and between groups. This fresh look at prejudice will appeal to scholars and students of social psychology, sociology, political science and peace studies.
Article
In this article, we describe an integrated theoretical approach for promoting resistance to the system of sexual objectification. Drawing from system justification and objectification theories, we propose a two-arm approach that would harness the system justification motive and adjust the lens of self-objectification in order to facilitate social change. We suggest that it is necessary to frame a rejection of the system of sexual objectification as a way to preserve (rather than threaten) the societal status quo. Further, we argue that it is critical to alter and expand the self-objectified lens through which many women come to view themselves in order to reduce their dependence on the system that constructs and sustains that lens. Although we recognize that multiple approaches and perspectives are needed, we argue that a disruption of the system at its ideological roots is essential to ultimately transcend sexual objectification as a cultural practice.