Boccato, G., Trifiletti, E., & Dazzi, C.
Machocracy: Dehumanization and objectification of women
Are we all human beings? In this article, we report evidence that individuals tend to deny humanity to other groups, a phenomenon called dehumanization. Infrahumanization theory states that individuals deny uniquely human attributes to other groups: the outgroup is perceived as less human than the ingroup. However, humanity may be denied in at least two ways: groups may be equated to animals or, alternatively, to machines. Female objectification is a special form of dehumanization: women are considered only for instrumental use. Objectification theory states that women are objectified when they are perceived as objects for personal use. Mass-media contribute to depict an objectified version of women, in that media represent a distorted, excessively thin, image of the female body. Exposure to the media leads women to compare their bodies with the thin ideal and to experience dissatisfaction and low self-esteem. Media are invited to present average-size models of women hence proposing a more realistic representation of the female body and preventing women’s body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.Back