Self-objectification and its clinical correlates among women
Women continue to be objectified by our society and this objectification is often internalized by women and can result in negative psychological consequences such as eating disorders and depression. One postulate of the self-objectification theory is that self-objectification can lead to a lack of internal awareness and this lack of internal awareness may mediate the relationship between self-objectification and mental health problems in women. To test this postulate, undergraduate women completed a number of self-report instruments measuring self-objectification, internal awareness, maladaptive eating behaviors, and depressive symptoms. Results indicated that internal awareness does not mediate the relationship between self-objectification and maladaptive eating behaviors or depression. However, both self-objectification and a lack of internal awareness independently explaine a significant amount of variance for the mental health variables measured. The relevance and implications of these results are discussed and future areas of research recommended.