Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in British Journal of Social Psychology (2019)



Copyright © 2019 The British Psychological Society; published by Wiley. Used by permission.


People perceive and treat women as sex objects in social exchanges. The interaction processes through which women are objectified, however, have rarely been considered. To address this gap in the literature, we propose the Social Interaction Model of Objectification (SIMO). Rooted in social exchange and objectification theories, the SIMO predicts objectifying behaviors stemming from sexual goals between men and women. We propose that the behavioral dynamics of objectification can be understood through a series of goal-based exchange processes that are shaped by patriarchy. Articulating the SIMO and its predictions for Behavior in social interactions, we describe the scant social psychological studies in this area. Not only is the SIMO useful for understanding objectifying interaction processes, but it can be used to understand why women sometimes evaluate objectification positively as well as instances of sexual violence. Finally, we discuss critical directions for future research and provide promising methodological approaches for testing the SIMO.