Society Theory

Perhaps the most common and well known theory that exists is that society is to blame. This theory is blaming social norms for the objectification of women. It takes the “it is how it is” mindset, and that is why the objectification continues. Young boys and girls look to society as a whole to learn how to act, think and feel.  Clearly, women are being sexually objectified and the media advise the young generation that this is the way it is, and that it is okay. The American Psychological Association released a report that “analyzed some 300 studies … [which] included a variety of media, from television and movies to song lyrics … [and] tweens posing in suggestive ways in magazines and the sexual antics of young celebrity role models,” that proved as evidence to this sexual objectification (Jayson). Unfortunately, “the researchers found such images may make girls think of and treat their own bodies as sexual objects” (Jayson).  This is proof that the media, which are part of society, is directly influencing how girls think of themselves.  In the same study, the report “cites Bratz dolls, in particular, for ‘sexualized’ clothing such as miniskirts, fishnet stockings and feather boas,” and continues to state that “although these dolls may present no more sexualization of girls … [than] seen in MTV videos, it is worrisome when dolls designed specifically for 4- to 8-year-olds are associated with an objectified adult sexuality” (Jayson).  If girls as young as four are being exposed to sexuality, then it should be expected that they grow up thinking that the gender role fits and that it is their job to appear in such a way. 

An associate professor at New York University, Ann Pellegrini, writes about the sexual politics of American childhood. She talks about how older generations would view today’s fashions as too revealing, but that teenagers see the fashion as being proud of their bodies, rather than objectification (Jayson). The changes in fashion, also part of society, further contribute to the way women are seen by “tricking” women into feeling empowered by wearing such articles of clothing and showing off their bodies.  Women, however, are not the only ones being influenced by our society. Boys, on the other hand, grow up aspiring to be like their fathers and other male role models who look at women sexually.

It is no secret that many things in our culture that are geared toward the male gender usually consist of naked or barely clothed women. This includes the commercials on the channels they watch on television, the magazines they read, and even the restaurants they visit. While watching sports on television, the commercials that play are directed toward men and picture women in sexy clothing or women kissing, etc. There are also specific restaurants that aim for male customers, HOOTERS being the most popular.  Hooters is famous for two things; their wings and their women. The company admits that “the element of female sex appeal is prevalent in restaurants” and continues on to say that it is not a “typical restaurant” and does not “market itself to families” ( As if the name is not offensive and obvious enough, the website talks about the “nearly world famous Hooters Girls” and argues that “Sex appeal is legal and it sells” ( While it may be legal, it is also damaging to women and society.

 The very obvious form of male entertainment we think of in this scenario is pornography. While many argue that most people, especially those of the United States, do not watch pornography, there are many statistics that tell us otherwise. compiled information from many reputable sources such as ABC, The U.S. Census, The Central Intelligence Agency, Google, etc. and revealed the following:

·         $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography every second

·         A new pornographic video is being created in the U.S. every 39 minutes

·         U.S. has 224,661,900 porn pages, which is approximately 89% of the world’s porn pages

·         Porn revenue in the U.S. exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS and NBC

Some people argue that this does not matter because in terms of objectifaction of women because women can watch pornography too. Here is some more proof that the people who watch porn are in fact men and that they do objectify women:

·         Of all of the people who search for “porn” on the internet, 96% are male

·         The major U.S. producers of porn include; Vivid Entertainment, Hustler, Playboy, Wicked Pictures and Red Light District. All of these producers focus on male entertainment which shows females. (Pornography Statistics)

As one can see, there is a large quantity of evidence showing that society is responsible for how women are treated, but there is also evidence to support other theories.