Nav: Home

Direct link between sexual objectification of girls and aggression towards them

January 24, 2017

There is a direct relation between the sexual objectification of girls and aggression towards them, research by psychologists at the University of Kent has shown.

The study, which looked at youth members of gangs as well as those with no gang affiliation, provides the first evidence of a link between objectification and non-sexual aggression in young people.

Dr Eduardo Vasquez and colleagues at the University's School of Psychology, together with a former student, found that higher levels of objectification were significant predictors of aggression towards girls.

Their findings are consistent with the claim that, among other negative outcomes, the perception of women as nothing but sexual objects also evokes aggression against them.

The research also established that watching television and playing violent video games were positively correlated with both sexual objectification and aggression towards girls.

The study featured 273 participants aged 12 to 16 years old from a secondary school in London. The school is located in an area experiencing problems with gangs and delinquency.

The findings showed that the objectification-aggression link manifests itself at least as early as the teenage years, leading to the suggestion that the detrimental effects of perceiving females as objects begin at an early stage of development.

This, in turn, has the potential to be further reinforced and strengthened over a number of years, suggest the researchers, thereby becoming 'more robust and difficult to change'. The study also suggests that the factors that might allow objectification to influence children - such as violent video games or sexist media - poses a potentially serious risk of increasing anti-social acts towards girls.

The research, entitled The sexual objectification of girls and aggression towards them in gang and non-gang affiliated youth, (Eduardo A. Vasquez, Kolawole Osinnowo, Afroditi Pina, Cheyra Bell - University of Kent; Louisa Ball) is published in the journal Psychology, Crime, and Law. See: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1068316X.2016.1269902
-end-
For interview requests, contact Martin Herrema at the University of Kent Press Office.
Tel: 01227 823581/01634 888879
Email: M.J.Herrema@kent.ac.uk
News releases can also be found at http://www.kent.ac.uk/news
University of Kent on Twitter: http://twitter.com/UniKent

Notes to editor

Established in 1965, the University of Kent - the UK's European university - now has almost 20,000 students across campuses or study centres at Canterbury, Medway, Tonbridge, Brussels, Paris, Athens and Rome.

It has been ranked: 23rd in the Guardian University Guide 2016; 23rd in the Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016; and 22nd in the Complete University Guide 2015.

In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2015-16, Kent is in the top 10% of the world's leading universities for international outlook and 66th in its table of the most international universities in the world. The THE also ranked the University as 20th in its 'Table of Tables' 2016.

Kent is ranked 17th in the UK for research intensity (REF 2014). It has world-leading research in all subjects and 97% of its research is deemed by the REF to be of international quality.

In the National Student Survey 2016, Kent achieved the fourth highest score for overall student satisfaction, out of all publicly funded, multi-faculty universities.

Along with the universities of East Anglia and Essex, Kent is a member of the Eastern Arc Research Consortium (http://www.kent.ac.uk/about/partnerships/eastern-arc.html).

The University is worth £0.7 billion to the economy of the south east and supports more than 7,800 jobs in the region. Student off-campus spend contributes £293.3m and 2,532 full-time-equivalent jobs to those totals.

In 2014, Kent received its second Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

University of Kent

Related Aggression Articles:

Two hormones drive anemonefish fathering, aggression
Two brain-signaling molecules control how anemonefish dads care for their young and respond to nest intruders, researchers report in a new study.
Solitude breeds aggression in spiders (rather than vice versa)
Spiders start out social but later turn aggressive after dispersing and becoming solitary, according to a study publishing July 2 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Raphael Jeanson of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France, and colleagues.
Interparental aggression often co-occurs with aggression toward kids
Parents in the midst of a psychologically or physically aggressive argument tend to also be aggressive with their children, according to researchers at Penn State.
Familiarity breeds aggression
Aggressiveness among animals may increase the longer individuals live together in stable groups.
Study examines development of physical aggression in children as they age
Children can exhibit physical aggression when they are very young but that behavior typically declines before and during elementary school.
Heat, weekends, aggression and Chicago summer shootings
It happens all too often each summer: yet another litany of weekend shootings in Chicago appears in the news.
The neurobiology of social aggression
Bullying and aggression carry heavy societal costs. For the first time, Duke-NUS researchers have found a signalling mechanism in the brain that shapes social behaviour -- specifically a growth factor protein, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and its receptor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), which affects social dominance.
Researchers identify marker in brain associated with aggression in children
A University of Iowa-led research team has identified a brain-wave marker associated with aggression in young children.
Targeting a brain mechanism could treat aggression
EPFL neuroscientists have identified a brain mechanism that is linked to aggression and violent behavior, potentially forming the basis for treating aggression in several psychiatric disorders.
Study examines alcohol's effects on sexual aggression
A new Aggressive Behavior study has examined alcohol's 'in the moment' effects on sexual aggression, or the acute effects of alcohol on men's decisions about how to respond to sexual refusals in a dating simulation.
More Aggression News and Aggression Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.