Using Objectification Theory to Interpret the Relationships Among Self-Schemas, Cognitive Distraction, and Sexual Satisfaction in Emerging Adult Women
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The sexual objectification of women is prevalent in Western culture, and researching how this impacts sexual satisfaction is important. This study used objectification theory to explore how cognitive distraction may be associated with the sexual satisfaction of 271 emerging adult women. Cognitive distraction was assessed as occurring as a result of negative sexual and appearance self-schemas. Relationships among appearance self-schemas, sexual self-schemas, cognitive distraction, and sexual satisfaction were assessed with two mediation models that used bivariate and multiple regressions. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to explore the influence of relationship status on how sexual and appearance self-schemas were associated with sexual satisfaction. Results indicated significant relationships between sexual satisfaction and both appearance and sexual self-schemas, which were at least partially mediated by cognitive distraction regardless of a woman's relationship status. This study has important implications for education, theory development, and therapy.