Technology-facilitated sexual harassment: scale development and the role of self-objectification in psychological functioning
Oliver, Casey L.
Master of Arts
DisciplinePsychology : Clinical
SubjectTechnology-facilitated sexual harassment (TFSH)
Mental health (technological environments)
MetadataShow full item record
The evolution of technology and emergence of technology giants, like Activision Blizzard, Tinder, Facebook, and Instagram, has created an entirely new world for social interaction. Many of the pervasive problems that women historically faced with in-person situations, such as sexual harassment, can now follow them everywhere. Indeed, technology-facilitated sexual harassment (TFSH) is more prevalent in female than male populations (e.g., Cripps & Stermac, 2018; Douglass et al., 2018; Henry & Powell, 2018; Snaychuk & O’Neill, 2020). The purpose of this study was to create comprehensive scales specific to TFSH behaviours and examine psychological symptoms, such as eating pathology, substance use, and sexual function that may be associated with TFSH. This study also tested the mediating role of self-objectification, as posited by objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), in the relationships between TFSH and these psychological symptoms in a sample of women (N = 481). These women were recruited through a course credit system at Lakehead University, as well as through online advertisements. The SurveyMonkey platform was used for online data collection. Results indicated that TFSH, specifically frequency of these incidents, was associated with eating pathology, alcohol use, and sexual function. Furthermore, self-objectification was supported as a potential mediator in the relationships between frequency of TFSH and eating pathology and alcohol use, in addition to the relationships between distress from TFSH and these measures of psychological function. This research may help shed light on the role of objectification processes in the context of TFSH, as well as inform prevention strategies and mental health interventions for victims of TFSH.