Objectified College Women Less Likely to Engage in Social Activism

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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A new study has found objectified college women are more likely to accept the status quo and are less likely to engage in social activism.

After conducting two experiments, University of Kent researcher Rachel M. Calogero found college women who define themselves by their appearance and sexual desirability were less likely to actively support expanding women’s rights or challenge existing gender-based inequalities.


“College women who define themselves by their

appearance were less likely to challenge gender inequalities.”

She also discovered when women were asked to recall a time they felt objectified by others, those women were more likely to define themselves according to how they looked (self-objectification).

Those women were also more likely to accept current gender norms and were less likely to participate in social activism in the future.

Calogero noted how self-objectification is powerful regardless of whether it currently exists in some women (experiment one) or whether it was actively and consciously triggered (experiment two).

“Why do we seem to compulsively objectify girls and women, at seemingly younger and younger ages, in this culture?” Calogero said. “What we do know is that the evidence for the objectification of women across a variety of media and interpersonal sources is overwhelming and that it brings harm to both women and men.”

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