Objectified and Dehumanized: Does Objectification Impact Perceptions of Women Political Candidates?
New Paper by Claire Gothreau in collaboration with Amanda Milena Alvarez (Temple University, Philadelphia, PA) and Amanda Friesen (Western University, London, ON, Canada) in Journal of Experimental Political Science, Cambridge University Press.
Objectification and dehumanization are topics often discussed within the social psychology and feminist theory literature. Research on objectification has largely focused on the sexual objectification of women’s bodies, whereas the dehumanization literature has focused on dehumanization in the context of racial and ethnic groups. Extant political science research has only recently begun to engage with these concepts. In this manuscript, we build upon these literatures and apply these insights to questions relevant to politics. In particular, we argue that objectifying and dehumanizing portrayals of women impact how voters evaluate women politicians and how much they support gender parity in politics. Through a proposed experimental design, we test our hypothesis that the objectification of women as a group can decrease positive evaluations and likelihood of electoral support for women political candidates.