Learning! Objectification vs. Appreciation

Objectification is a word that gets thrown around a lot from time to time, and I think a lot of people don't quite know what it refers to.  It has to do with sex, usually.  It usually gets talked about in the context of women and their bodies and advertising or pornography.  It's definitely a bad thing.  But what exactly is it?  What's the difference between objectification and appreciation of a person's physical beauty?  How do you know which is being done to you?

This is a great article in The World of Psychology that breaks down what objectification really is and how to tell if it's happening to you in a real-life.

I've gathered a few take-away quotes, in case you are not into reading entire articles.  All emphasis was added by me.

On objectification in general:

"A new study shows that objectification can be linked to sexual coercion in romantic relationships. This is not surprising, for several reasons. More alarmingly, objectification is also statistically linked to sexual violence. This is also not surprising."

"A man or a woman who sees another individual as an object is seeing them through the lens of being able to satisfy a particular need — period. They do not have the capacity to think about the whole person or consequently a healthy, mature relationship — especially a romantic or sexual one."

Signs of objectification in relationships:

"A healthy attraction does not tend to focus overwhelmingly on a body part or a specific look, for instance a specific outfit."

"A mature individual will reflect back to you their attraction to subtleties or abstract qualities and less exclusively on concrete details that can be experienced as separate from the whole personality."

"A mature individual will also talk about other people as whole individuals. They will not tend to see the world in black or white."

"Someone who objectifies will tend to have a lesser capacity for true empathy."

"Objectified pleasure does not extend into true appreciation that can lead to appreciation and pleasure in the subtler dimensions of your body or an intimate experience."

Read more detail in the original article here.