Headlines in social science: objectification and sexual coercion


Researchers from Bridgewater State University find that if a woman is objectified in a relationship, it’s more likely that her male partner will sexually coerce and pressure her. In the study, questionnaires were applied to 119 men and 162 women to measure how much men tend to think about and find importance in how their female partner looks and their attitudes towards sexual pressure/coercion (beliefs like “It’s the woman’s responsibility to provide for her partner sexually” and “My partner should have sex with me whenever I want to have sex”).

The results show that the more men focus on the way their partner looks, the more likely they are to scrutinise her physically and feel shame about her appearance; but also the more likely they are to pressure her sexually.

The study appeared in Psychology of Women Quarterly and can be read here.