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Sex Object

Feminism Glossary Definition


Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe as Sex Object?

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Definition: A sex object is a person regarded exclusively as a means to the observer's gratification. The sex object is mainly or solely the focus of sexual interest. Most commonly, the term sex object describes women as the object of men's sexual attraction and men's perceptions.

Viewing a person as a sex object is problematic for several reasons. The idea behind the phrase is that treating a person as a sex object reduces that person to be ONLY a source of sexual gratification. This reduction takes away the complexities of a person's mind, personality and even other physical attributes, such as athleticism, strength or grace.

There are ethical, moral and philosophical problems with treating a person as an object. For example, objects can be owned, and slavery is another example of treating human beings as property, or things.

Feminist theorists, media observers and social scientists have written extensively about the objectification of women. There are many critiques of the images that objectify women in film, advertising, print and broadcast media.

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