Research Alert: "Internalized Sexualization and its relation to Sexualized Appearance, Body Surveillance, and Body Shame among Early Adolescent Girls"


Sexually objectifying messages about girls and women are common in U.S. popular culture. As a consequence of exposure to such messages, girls may develop “internalized sexualization,” or internalization of the belief that sexual attractiveness to males is an important aspect of their identity. We hypothesized that internalized sexualization is associated with behavioral and psychological consequences, including sexualized clothing use, body surveillance, and body shame. In two studies of early adolescent girls (total N= 330, age range = 10-15), we found that girls with higher levels of internalized sexualization wear more sexualized clothing (Study 1) and show higher levels of body surveillance and body shame (Study 2) than girls with lower levels of internalized sexualization.

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