It’s Not the Size of the Boat or the Motion of the Ocean

The Role of Self-Objectification, Appearance Anxiety, and Depression in Female Sexual Functioning

Jennifer A. Vencill, Elliot Tebbe, Sheila Garos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research on psychological factors related to female sexual functioning has been growing in recent years. Our study draws on the existing sexual health literature and objectification theory to test a model of female sexual functioning. Using structural equation modeling, we examined the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with appearance anxiety, depression, and sexual health (i.e., physical sexual functioning and subjective sexual well-being) in a sample of 426 sexually active, heterosexual, cisgender women. Further, we investigated the role of depression and appearance anxiety as mediators of the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with sexual health. Our findings contribute to the growing body of empirical research that examines the role of sociocultural and psychological factors in female sexual functioning. Results suggest that depression and appearance anxiety fully mediated the relations of body surveillance with sexual well-being. However, internalization of cultural standards of beauty was not significant with any study outcomes. These findings expand on existing objectification theory literature by elucidating the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with sexual functioning as well as by highlighting the importance of attending to body image, appearance anxiety, and depression when working clinically with women reporting concerns with their sexual functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-483
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Beauty
objectification
Ships
internalization
beauty
Oceans and Seas
surveillance
Reproductive Health
Anxiety
Depression
anxiety
psychological factors
health
well-being
literature theory
Psychology
sociocultural factors
Empirical Research
body image
Body Image

Keywords

  • body image
  • depression
  • objectification
  • physical attractiveness
  • sexual function disturbance
  • sexual functioning
  • sexual satisfaction
  • sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

It’s Not the Size of the Boat or the Motion of the Ocean : The Role of Self-Objectification, Appearance Anxiety, and Depression in Female Sexual Functioning. / Vencill, Jennifer A.; Tebbe, Elliot; Garos, Sheila.

In: Psychology of Women Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 4, 01.01.2015, p. 471-483.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{35e7e74484384cb2b75976702cd9157f,
title = "It’s Not the Size of the Boat or the Motion of the Ocean: The Role of Self-Objectification, Appearance Anxiety, and Depression in Female Sexual Functioning",
abstract = "Research on psychological factors related to female sexual functioning has been growing in recent years. Our study draws on the existing sexual health literature and objectification theory to test a model of female sexual functioning. Using structural equation modeling, we examined the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with appearance anxiety, depression, and sexual health (i.e., physical sexual functioning and subjective sexual well-being) in a sample of 426 sexually active, heterosexual, cisgender women. Further, we investigated the role of depression and appearance anxiety as mediators of the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with sexual health. Our findings contribute to the growing body of empirical research that examines the role of sociocultural and psychological factors in female sexual functioning. Results suggest that depression and appearance anxiety fully mediated the relations of body surveillance with sexual well-being. However, internalization of cultural standards of beauty was not significant with any study outcomes. These findings expand on existing objectification theory literature by elucidating the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with sexual functioning as well as by highlighting the importance of attending to body image, appearance anxiety, and depression when working clinically with women reporting concerns with their sexual functioning.",
keywords = "body image, depression, objectification, physical attractiveness, sexual function disturbance, sexual functioning, sexual satisfaction, sexuality",
author = "Vencill, {Jennifer A.} and Elliot Tebbe and Sheila Garos",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0361684315587703",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "39",
pages = "471--483",
journal = "Psychology of Women Quarterly",
issn = "0361-6843",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - It’s Not the Size of the Boat or the Motion of the Ocean

T2 - The Role of Self-Objectification, Appearance Anxiety, and Depression in Female Sexual Functioning

AU - Vencill, Jennifer A.

AU - Tebbe, Elliot

AU - Garos, Sheila

PY - 2015/1/1

Y1 - 2015/1/1

N2 - Research on psychological factors related to female sexual functioning has been growing in recent years. Our study draws on the existing sexual health literature and objectification theory to test a model of female sexual functioning. Using structural equation modeling, we examined the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with appearance anxiety, depression, and sexual health (i.e., physical sexual functioning and subjective sexual well-being) in a sample of 426 sexually active, heterosexual, cisgender women. Further, we investigated the role of depression and appearance anxiety as mediators of the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with sexual health. Our findings contribute to the growing body of empirical research that examines the role of sociocultural and psychological factors in female sexual functioning. Results suggest that depression and appearance anxiety fully mediated the relations of body surveillance with sexual well-being. However, internalization of cultural standards of beauty was not significant with any study outcomes. These findings expand on existing objectification theory literature by elucidating the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with sexual functioning as well as by highlighting the importance of attending to body image, appearance anxiety, and depression when working clinically with women reporting concerns with their sexual functioning.

AB - Research on psychological factors related to female sexual functioning has been growing in recent years. Our study draws on the existing sexual health literature and objectification theory to test a model of female sexual functioning. Using structural equation modeling, we examined the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with appearance anxiety, depression, and sexual health (i.e., physical sexual functioning and subjective sexual well-being) in a sample of 426 sexually active, heterosexual, cisgender women. Further, we investigated the role of depression and appearance anxiety as mediators of the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with sexual health. Our findings contribute to the growing body of empirical research that examines the role of sociocultural and psychological factors in female sexual functioning. Results suggest that depression and appearance anxiety fully mediated the relations of body surveillance with sexual well-being. However, internalization of cultural standards of beauty was not significant with any study outcomes. These findings expand on existing objectification theory literature by elucidating the associations of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with sexual functioning as well as by highlighting the importance of attending to body image, appearance anxiety, and depression when working clinically with women reporting concerns with their sexual functioning.

KW - body image

KW - depression

KW - objectification

KW - physical attractiveness

KW - sexual function disturbance

KW - sexual functioning

KW - sexual satisfaction

KW - sexuality

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84947061764&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84947061764&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0361684315587703

DO - 10.1177/0361684315587703

M3 - Article

VL - 39

SP - 471

EP - 483

JO - Psychology of Women Quarterly

JF - Psychology of Women Quarterly

SN - 0361-6843

IS - 4

ER -