The School is please to announce a special seminar to be presented by Jeroen Vaes, University of Padova.
Are sexualized female targets human beings? Why males and females dehumanize sexually objectified women.
Focusing on the dehumanization of sexually objectified targets, the present set of studies measured human associations with male and female objectified and non-objectified targets. Adapting a SC-IAT in Study 1, only sexually objectified female targets were associated less with uniquely human words compared to objectified male and both non-objectified targets. Importantly, both male and female participants showed these dehumanizing results, but likely for different reasons. Hypothesizing that females dehumanize objectified female targets because they see them as a disliked subcategory, Study 2 measured the extent to which female participants saw objectified women as a subcategory and identify with them. Results indicated that only female participants who distance themselves from objectified female targets tend to dehumanize them. Study 3, instead, focused on male participants and tested the hypothesis that sexual attraction lies at the basis of males¹ dehumanization of objectified female targets. Male participants were either primed with a sex goal or not and their tendency to dehumanize female targets was measured. Importantly, the female targets in this study were not objectified or sexually arousing per se, but could be seen as such as a result of the manipulation. In addition, participants had to select an attractive or a competent female collaborator for an ostensible online mathematical task. Results indicated that only males with an active sex goal dehumanized the female targets and preferred the attractive instead of the competent collaborator. Taken together, these results indicate the opposing motivations that make both males and females dehumanize objectified women.