Undergraduate college students (283 females, 127 males) completed surveys aimed at measuring positive sexual awareness vs. sexual self-monitoring, coping styles, and psychopathological symptoms. Positive sexual awareness significantly positively correlated with adaptive coping styles but did not otherwise correlate with psychopathological symptoms. Sexual self-monitoring was significantly positively correlated with somatization, depression-anxiety, and avoidant coping in women but not men. Bootstrapped mediation analyses indicated that the relationships between sexual self-monitoring and somatization, depression-anxiety, and eating disorder symptoms were significantly mediated by avoidant coping in women but not in men. These results were explained in terms of Objectification Theory, suggesting that women who experience sexual objectification are more likely to engage in avoidant coping, thus increasing their risk of developing psychopathology. Findings are discussed in terms of broader issues of the disempowering effects of objectification.
Part of the book: Psycho-Social Aspects of Human Sexuality and Ethics