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Sexual Objectification

The act of treating/reducing someone else to a body for one’s own sexual pleasure, without regard to their humanity. In a patriarchal society in which men hold power and privilege over women, girls and women experience sexual objectification by boys and men. This may take the form of sexualized gazes experienced interpersonally or in media (i.e. sexualized advertising), sexual harassment (e.g. catcalling or unwanted sexual attention), and sexualized violence, such as coercion to rape. Sexual objectification is one way in which gender inequality and rape culture are reproduced. See our Rape Culture overview.

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