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Sexualization, Self-Objectification and Sexual Well Being among Black and White Emerging Adult Women

PI: Deborah Tolman; RAs: Christin Bowman & Jennifer Chmielewski

In this project, we investigate the impact of sexualization on sexual well being among Black and White young women using an experimental design. Self-objectification, the psychological consequence of sexualization, has been shown to be associated with diminished well being among adolescent girls and women (APA, 2007); sexuality is an important element of well being (Impett, Schooler & Tolman, 2006). While there is some correlational evidence between self-objectification and various dimensions of sexual well being, causality has yet to be determined. The little that is known about the impact of sexualization on Black and White girls and women in general, and their sexuality specifically suggests differences. This study will be the first to demonstrate a causal relationship between sexualization and various dimensions of sexual well being, central in young people’s psychosocial development. This study will contribute much needed knowledge about the differences in the impact of sexualization, and the mediating role of self-objectification, on White and Black women’s sexual well being.

Sexualization Conditions Pics 1