London: Higher levels of objectification of women were significant predictors of aggression towards them, psychologists claim.
The study showed that among other negative outcomes, the perception of women as nothing but sexual objects also evokes aggression against them.
The objectification-aggression link manifests itself at least as early as the teenage years, suggesting that the detrimental effects of perceiving females as objects begin at an early stage of development, said Eduardo Vasquez from the University of Kent.
In addition, watching sexist television programmes and playing violent video games were positively correlated with both sexual objectification and aggression towards girls, raising a potentially serious risk of increasing anti-social acts towards girls.
For the study, published in the journal Psychology, Crime, and Law, the team included 273 participants aged 12 to 16 years old who were members of gangs as well as those with no gang affiliation.