As a consequence of exposure to sexualized messages, girls and women may internalize the belief that sexual attractiveness to men is an important aspect of their identity. Whereas research on internalized sexualization has mainly focused on its consequences for girls’ well-being and academic outcomes, the present study (N = 222, women, aged 20 to 29) examined whether internalized sexualization is related to sexist attitudes and tolerance of sexual harassment among young women. It also analyzed internalized sexualization’ links to women’s views of notorious sexual abuse allegations in the so-called Weinstein scandal and attitudes towards the #MeToo movement, a campaign aimed at combatting sexual harassment and sexual assault. The study was conducted in Italy, a context characterized by pervasive sexualized messages and diffuse criticism against the #MeToo movement. The findings showed that internalized sexualization was associated with stronger endorsement of sexist attitudes and higher acceptance of sexual harassment myths, which worked as sequential mediators of skepticism towards sexual abuse allegations in the Weinstein scandals. Endorsement of sexist attitudes mediated the relation between internalized sexualization and negative attitudes towards the #MeToo movement. This study extends the knowledge on the correlates of sexualization, suggesting that women’s internalization of the belief that they should be sexually attractive to men might contribute to reinforce ideologies and attitudes that perpetrate women’s mistreatment while diminishing support for social activism on women’s behalf.

Women and #MeToo in Italy: Internalized sexualization is associated with tolerance of sexual harassment and negative views of the #MeToo movement

Moscatelli S.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Golfieri F.;Tomasetto C.;Bigler R. S.
2021

Abstract

As a consequence of exposure to sexualized messages, girls and women may internalize the belief that sexual attractiveness to men is an important aspect of their identity. Whereas research on internalized sexualization has mainly focused on its consequences for girls’ well-being and academic outcomes, the present study (N = 222, women, aged 20 to 29) examined whether internalized sexualization is related to sexist attitudes and tolerance of sexual harassment among young women. It also analyzed internalized sexualization’ links to women’s views of notorious sexual abuse allegations in the so-called Weinstein scandal and attitudes towards the #MeToo movement, a campaign aimed at combatting sexual harassment and sexual assault. The study was conducted in Italy, a context characterized by pervasive sexualized messages and diffuse criticism against the #MeToo movement. The findings showed that internalized sexualization was associated with stronger endorsement of sexist attitudes and higher acceptance of sexual harassment myths, which worked as sequential mediators of skepticism towards sexual abuse allegations in the Weinstein scandals. Endorsement of sexist attitudes mediated the relation between internalized sexualization and negative attitudes towards the #MeToo movement. This study extends the knowledge on the correlates of sexualization, suggesting that women’s internalization of the belief that they should be sexually attractive to men might contribute to reinforce ideologies and attitudes that perpetrate women’s mistreatment while diminishing support for social activism on women’s behalf.
Moscatelli S.; Golfieri F.; Tomasetto C.; Bigler R.S.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Moscatelli2021_Article_WomenAndMeTooInItalyInternaliz-2.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: open access
Tipo: Versione (PDF) editoriale
Licenza: Licenza per Accesso Aperto. Creative Commons Attribuzione (CCBY)
Dimensione 419.49 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
419.49 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/828609
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 2
social impact