Researchers have found a direct link between seeing girls as sex objects and showing aggression towards them in teenage boys.
Boys who agreed strongly with statements such as "girls are only good for their body", "it's OK to treat girls as objects" or "girls are only used for pleasure" were more likely to be aggressive towards girls – but only if they were not members of a gang, according to a study published in the journal Psychology, Crime and Law.
The study also looked at how much TV participants watched and whether they played violent video games. Both were found to correlate with increased objectification of women, backing up previous findings.
The abstract for the study says:
Sexual objectification is related to various negative attitudes and outcomes, including rape proclivity and reduced moral concern for the objectified, which suggests that objectification has implications for aggression. Our study examined the relationship between objectification and general aggressive behaviour in adolescents, including gang-affiliated youth. We hypothesized that (1) objectification would correlate with aggression towards girls, (2) gang affiliation would correlate with objectification and aggression towards girls, and (3) objectification and gang affiliation would interact such that strongly affiliated participants who objectified girls would be most aggressive towards them. We also hypothesized that sexual objectification would be a significant predictor of aggression above and beyond other factors, such as trait aggression. As predicted, objectification correlated with aggression towards girls and with gang affiliation, which also correlated with aggression. In addition, objectification predicted aggression towards girls, after controlling for other relevant factors. Further, we found an objectification × gang affiliation interaction, which differed from our original predictions. Among participants low in gang affiliation, objectification of girls predicted levels of aggression towards them. Among those high in gang affiliation, however, objectification did not predict aggression. We discussed the implications of our findings for general aggression.
Read the full article By Martha Henriques in International Business Times here.