• Look @ me 2.0: self-sexualization in Facebook photographs, self-objectification, and body image

      Ruckel, Lindsay M. (2012-12)
      Growing attention has been paid to examining people’s self-presentation on Social Networking Sites (SNSs). To date, one study has explored the extent to which women present themselves in a sexualized way in their profile photographs on SNSs. SNSs provide a unique opportunity for self-sexualization, or the presentation of one’s body in a sexually objectifying way for others’ evaluation. The current study tested the relationship between women’s self-objectification and their self-sexualization in their Facebook profile photographs. This work also investigated how self-sexualization relates to body image satisfaction, internalization of the “thin ideal”, and how contingent self-worth is on appearance. Facebook profile photographs of 100 women, ranging from 18-49 years old were coded for self-sexualization. Results suggested that women who reported higher levels of self-objectification and who identified more strongly with the appearance-contingency of self-worth were more likely to self-sexualize in their Facebook profile photographs. However, no relationship was found between self-sexualization and internalization of the “thin ideal” or body image satisfaction. Potential implications and directions for future research are explored.
    • Patterns of past and present body esteem: do they matter?

      Fish, Jennaleigh (2013-06-25)
      The present study examined the relationship between patterns of perceptions of body image/esteem (past and present) and sexual behavior in young women during emerging adulthood. One hundred and forty-eight participants completed an online survey which measured body image perception and aspects of sexual behavior. Using past body perceptions (retrospective) and current body perceptions, participants were placed into four groups—those who were consistently positive in their body esteem, those who were consistently negative in their body esteem, and those who perceived a change in body esteem. These groups were then used as independent variables to compare women across sexual desire, sexual confidence, and body image perceptions. Change in perceptions of body esteem had significant effects on all of the study variables except sexual desire. Several patterns emerged from the results of this study. Among the most prevalent included: Women who were consistently positive in their body esteem had higher levels of body area satisfaction, appearance satisfaction, sexual desire, and sexual confidence; having had a positive body image perception at some point in the past seems to benefit women’s body esteem in emerging adulthood; and women who had a consistently negative body image perception report lower body area satisfaction, sexual desire, and sexual confidence. The results indicate that perceived body esteem, both past and current, is related to higher levels of body satisfaction, more positive appearance evaluations, and lower self weight classification, all of which have not been explored in previous research. Therefore, those who have more positive body esteem and have always had positive body esteem are more also more likely to have a positive body image in emerging adulthood.