Objectification – reducing a someone to a something – represents a powerful and potentially damaging way in which we can see and treat others. Women are often victims of processes of objectification that occur whenever a woman is reduced to her body or certain body parts. What remains unclear is the extent to which a woman becomes an object when objectified. Using the oddball paradigm in three experiments, participants’ neural activity was measured while they analyzed frequently presented male and female human stimuli and infrequently presented gender-matched doll-like objects. The infrequent doll-like objects were expected to trigger a late event-related neurophysiological response (P300) the more they were perceived different from the repeated, human stimuli (i.e., the oddball effect). In Experiment 1, the oddball effect was significantly smaller for objectified women compared to objectified men. Results of Experiment 2 confirmed that this effect was confined to objectified depictions of women. In Experiment 3, no semantic references to the human-object divide were provided, but objectified women were still perceived more similar to real objects. Taken together, these results are the first to demonstrate that the perception of women, when objectified, changes in essence beyond the metaphor.

Assessing neural responses towards objectified human targets and objects to identify processes of sexual objectification that go beyond the metaphor / Vaes, J.; Cristoforetti, G.; Ruzzante, Daniela; Cogoni, Carlotta; Mazza, V.. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 9:(2019), pp. 669901-669910. [10.1038/s41598-019-42928-x]

Assessing neural responses towards objectified human targets and objects to identify processes of sexual objectification that go beyond the metaphor

Vaes J.;Ruzzante, Daniela;Cogoni, Carlotta;Mazza V.
2019

Abstract

Objectification – reducing a someone to a something – represents a powerful and potentially damaging way in which we can see and treat others. Women are often victims of processes of objectification that occur whenever a woman is reduced to her body or certain body parts. What remains unclear is the extent to which a woman becomes an object when objectified. Using the oddball paradigm in three experiments, participants’ neural activity was measured while they analyzed frequently presented male and female human stimuli and infrequently presented gender-matched doll-like objects. The infrequent doll-like objects were expected to trigger a late event-related neurophysiological response (P300) the more they were perceived different from the repeated, human stimuli (i.e., the oddball effect). In Experiment 1, the oddball effect was significantly smaller for objectified women compared to objectified men. Results of Experiment 2 confirmed that this effect was confined to objectified depictions of women. In Experiment 3, no semantic references to the human-object divide were provided, but objectified women were still perceived more similar to real objects. Taken together, these results are the first to demonstrate that the perception of women, when objectified, changes in essence beyond the metaphor.
Vaes, J.; Cristoforetti, G.; Ruzzante, Daniela; Cogoni, Carlotta; Mazza, V.
Assessing neural responses towards objectified human targets and objects to identify processes of sexual objectification that go beyond the metaphor / Vaes, J.; Cristoforetti, G.; Ruzzante, Daniela; Cogoni, Carlotta; Mazza, V.. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 9:(2019), pp. 669901-669910. [10.1038/s41598-019-42928-x]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/247036
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