Prevalence of self-objectification among Northern Kentucky students

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Northern Kentucky University
Past research indicates self-objectification – viewing oneself as an object or collection of body parts – can lead to depression, body-shaming, and eating disorders. This study identifies the prevalence of self-objectification among Northern Kentucky University (NKU) students and student awareness of engaging in self-objectifying behaviors. One hundred twenty surveys were administered to NKU students on campus. Students answered questions designed to measure awareness of self-objectification and actual engagement in self-objectifying behaviors. Prevalence of self-objectification among students was found to be high, while awareness was found to be low. Female students had significantly higher rates of self-objectification (96.6%) compared with male students (77.8%). Female students were also more likely to engage in body or body-part comparison (86.2%) compared to male students (59.3%). Understanding the prevalence of self-objectification can offer insight into reasons behind record-high rates of depression among college students and can lead to more effective treatment interventions. Findings can also help to inform future research and policy.
Objectification (Social psychology), College students Psychology Study and teaching