Sexuality Research & Social Policy

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 8–20 | Cite as

Dis/Embodied Voices: What Late-Adolescent Girls Can Teach Us About Objectification and Sexuality

  • Celeste Hirschman
  • Emily A. Impett
  • Deborah Schooler
Special Issue Articles


This mixed-method study explored the relationship between self-objectification and sexuality in a small sample of late-adolescent girls. Based on their responses to a survey measure of body objectification, the authors chose six 12th-grade girls’ semistructured interviews from a larger pool of interviews to examine what girls who scored low on the measure (less self-objectified) and girls who scored high on the measure (more self-objectified) said about their sexuality. Using thematic analysis, the authors identified themes such as communication of sexual desires and boundaries. This study found that less self-objectified girls expressed positive attitudes about sexuality, evidenced more comfort talking about sexuality, and engaged in sexual experimentation, whereas more self-objectified girls were less comfortable talking about sex and expressed regret at having had sex. Teaching embodied practices that disrupt girls’ self-objectification and promote positive body image may help girls experience greater sexual health, agency, sexual satisfaction, and partner communication.

Key words

sexual development body objectification embodiment high-risk sexual behavior sexual communication 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celeste Hirschman
    • 1
  • Emily A. Impett
    • 1
  • Deborah Schooler
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Research on Gender and SexualitySan Francisco State UniversitySan Francisco

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