Sexual objectification increases retaliatory aggression

Kai Tak POON, Yufei JIANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles


Two experiments were conducted to investigate whether sexual objectification increases retaliatory aggression serially through increased vulnerability and hostile intent attributions. Female participants were first exposed to the sexual objectification manipulation by receiving compliments from an online male partner (Experiment 1) or imagining a workplace objectification experience (Experiment 2). Afterward, their vulnerability and hostile intent attributions were assessed. Finally, they were given an opportunity to behave aggressively toward the source of objectification. The results of both experiments indicated that, compared with their counterparts in the control conditions, participants in the sexual objectification condition reported higher levels of vulnerability, hostile intent attributions, and aggression. Moreover, vulnerability and hostile intent attributions serially mediated the effect of sexual objectification on aggression. These findings highlight the critical influence of vulnerability and hostile intent attributions in understanding how sexual objectification increases aggression. Copyright © 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAggressive Behavior
Early online dateMar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2020


Poon, K.-T., & Jiang, Y. (2020). Sexual objectification increases retaliatory aggression. Aggressive Behavior. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/ab.21889


  • Aggression
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Hostile intent attributions
  • Sexual objectification
  • Vulnerability

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