Romantic attachment anxiety predicts higher levels of self-objectification over time in both men and women

Anxiety about your romantic relationship and worry of abandonment enhance tendencies to objectify your self sexually, in accordance with a brand new examine revealed at the moment. Psychology of Women Quarterly.

“My colleagues (Dr. Larissa Teran and Dr. Jennifer Stevens Aubrey) had been in this subject as a result of sexual objectification and self-objectification are related points in our society, particularly for ladies and women,” stated examine writer Jiang Jiao. Assistant Professor, Boise State University.

“Also, whereas there may be lots of analysis exhibiting the adverse penalties of these points, comparatively few have explored how we are able to buffer such a tradition of objectification. As a relational scientist, I’m motivated to discover and determine relational components that shield folks from objectification.”

The new discovering relies on attachment concept, which states that parent-child interactions decide how people understand and behave in private relationships. People will be safe or insecure about their attachments, and insecure folks will be anxious or avoidant. People with anxiety usually fear about rejection or abandonment. In distinction, avoidants are stubbornly impartial and discover it troublesome to belief others.

For the brand new examine, Jiao and his colleagues first surveyed 392 school college students from the United States. Participants reported how usually they had been sexually objectified by others, how usually they engaged in self-objectification, and accomplished scores of their romantic attachment kinds.

Those excessive in self-objectification strongly agree with statements resembling “I usually suppose my physique is how others suppose it must be” and “My look is extra vital than my persona.”

Among women, interpersonal sexual objectification, self-objectification, and attachment insecurity had been all positively correlated. Women who reported extra interpersonal sexual objectification reported extra self-objectification. Additionally, women who reported better interpersonal sexual objectification and self-objectification skilled better attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance in their romantic relationships. Among men, solely self-objectification and attachment anxiety had been positively correlated.

“However, given the cross-sectional nature of the info, the route of the affiliation can’t be decided,” the researchers famous. “People’s self-objectification might contribute to their anxiety about being tied down in romantic relationships. At the identical time, it’s equally believable that folks’s anxiety about attachment to their romantic companions leads them to view themselves as objects in the eyes of others.’

To perceive the temporal order between these variables, the researchers performed a separate longitudinal examine of 283 younger adults. Participants accomplished the assessments used in the earlier examine. About six months later, they reassessed.

Jiao and colleagues discovered that elevated attachment anxiety through the baseline survey predicted better levels of self-objectification six months later. Neither interpersonal sexual objectification nor self-objectification, nevertheless, predicted subsequent adjustments in attachment anxiety or attachment avoidance. This was true for both men and women.

“This discovering means that anxiety a few associate’s sensitivity and residing with a worry of abandonment might trigger people to concentrate on their bodily look (ie, self-objectification),” the researchers stated. “People might fear about their associate’s lack of consideration and grow to be accustomed to specializing in their bodily look as a result of they might really feel they don’t seem to be ‘ok’ or ‘sexually enticing’ to obtain the eye they crave from their associate. “

The findings have sensible implications for these in romantic relationships.

“Perhaps an important factor is that having a associate who makes us really feel secure and safe will help scale back our over-emphasis on our look and sexuality, which may result in a variety of psychological issues,” Jiao defined. “Although it’s troublesome to ask for such a associate, at the very least we are able to attempt to be a associate who brings security and safety to the opposite, as this helps scale back the diploma to which our associate presents himself as objectified (for instance, as an additional individual, somewhat than one other vital half of themselves, as a result of of their look and centered on sexuality).

The examine, “Buffering Objectifying Culture: Interpersonal Sexual Objectification, Self-Objectification, and Attachment Anxiety,” was written by Jiang Jiao, Larissa Teran, and Jennifer Stevens Aubrey.

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