Archives of Sexual Behavior
School of Arts and Humanities
Body gaze behavior is assumed to be a key feature of sexual objectification. However, there are few self-report gaze measures available and none capturing behavior which seeks to invite body gaze from others. Across two studies, we used existing self-report instruments and measurement of eye movements to validate a new self-report scale to measure pervasive body gaze behavior and body gaze provocation behavior in heterosexual women and men. In Study 1, participants (N = 1021) completed a survey with newly created items related to pervasive body gaze and body gaze provocation behavior. Participants also completed preexisting measures of body attitudes, sexual assault attitudes, pornography use, and relationship status. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses across independent samples suggested a 12-item scale for men and women to separately measure pervasive body gaze (5 items) and body gaze provocation (7 items) toward the opposite sex. The two scales yielded excellent internal consistency estimates (.86–.89) and promising convergent validity via positive correlations with body and sexual attitudes. In Study 2, a subsample (N = 167) of participants from Study 1 completed an eye-tracking task to capture their gaze behavior toward matched images of partially and fully dressed female and male subjects. Men exhibited body-biased gaze behavior toward all the female imagery, whereas women exhibited head-biased gaze behavior toward fully clothed male imagery. Importantly, self-reported body gaze correlated positively with some aspects of objectively measured body gaze behavior. Both scales showed good test–retest reliability and were positively correlated with sexual assault attitudes.
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Society and Culture
Individual, economic, organisational, political and social transformation