The nullifying experience of self-objectification: The development and psychometric evaluation of the Self-Objectification Scale

Anat Talmon*, Karni Ginzburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Self-objectification is a process or state in which an individual loses his/her sense of subjectivity. Although several measures assess self-objectification as representing self-perception based on sexual and bodily appearance, there is a need for a measure assessing self-objectification as reflecting dehumanization. This study aims to evaluate the psychometric properties of a new measure, the Self-Objectification Scale (SOS). In Study 1, the SOS was administered to 373 students. In Study 2, the SOS was administered to 300 female students along with a battery of questionnaires, including the Experience of Shame Scale (ESS) and the Objectified Body Consciousness Scale (OBC). In addition, participants were asked about their history of childhood maltreatment, via the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), as well as about their experience of sexual and/or physical assault, at any age. Two reliable SOS subscales emerged from Study 1: Invisibility and Lack of Autonomy. In Study 2, a confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the scale's underlying factor structure, which was obtained in Study 1. The two factors were significantly correlated with measures of shame and body-objectification. Finally, individuals who reported childhood maltreatment, as well as those who reported sexual and/or physical assault at any age, had higher scores of Invisibility and Lack of Autonomy than those who did not have such experiences. The results of the present analyses suggest that the SOS has good psychometric properties, making it useful as an assessment tool in future research.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)46-57
Number of pages12
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume60
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Childhood maltreatment
  • Invisibility
  • Lack of autonomy
  • Self-objectification
  • Shame

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