My problems with how people think about "sexual objectification", and the furor against it

I'm going to be downvoted surely, but as a psychologist I feel I have to put my two cents down.

It's inappropriate to say that objects are inherently impossible to be sexual. I'm certain there are plenty of people who are aroused by a simple aluminum cylinder that can vibrate, and the Uncanny Valley effect means nobody would confuse a sex doll for a real person - but sex dolls can, for some, also cause sexual arousal. It's a simple cognitive effect of classical cognitive association. These objects could not be misconstrued for a real penis, or a real woman, in any context, but the association is there and is clearly enough for sexual arousal to occur.

If you're going to complain about nebulous definitions, then perhaps don't quote feminist literature that bases observations on agendas and anecdotes and rather on psychological literature about the subject. The truth here is that pornography, stripping, and other forms of sexual services provided willingly by females is a form of positive reinforcement for seeing that woman as less of a person and more of a willing object that provides sex in return for favors. That is, a man 'objectifies' a female performer, and she provides positive reinforcement in exchange for money or some other valuable. At the end of the day, the brain chemistry of the man is undergoing operant conditioning. This conditioning is reinforcing this behavior. This is why porn sites have trials, cam sites have 'free' shows with less personal tailoring and nudity, and strip bars have free alcohol and discount nights. What gets people in the door, gets them positively rewarded to come back.

The problem is, the brain isn't capable of suddenly turning off that conditioning based on its environment. It would arguably be best if those horny strip club patrons could walk out and then go donate to feminist charities, but they don't because the chemistry of their brain has now been conditioned to become used to the notion that women provide sexual services, particularly for money. Furthermore, they are desensitized to the abnormality of the stripper condition, that is, that women will respond to sexual advances in exchange for valuables. For literature on this effect, read here:

Sexuality is not inherently the problem. But cam sites, porn, and stripping monetizes sexuality and removes personal barriers. It encourages sexual advances because at the end of the day, the advance doesn't need to be warranted - it just needs to be lucrative. Whether or not this can be classifies as 'objectification' is frankly extraneous to the conversation. What IS germane is the psychological effects these services have, particularly for the customer. A man doesn't need to see a woman as specifically an 'object' to disrespect her. This is why the 'Nice Guy' movement is so prevalent. Because, of course, the guy is paying attention to her feelings... she just doesn't know that she's SUPPOSED to be feeling grateful, horny, whatever, etc. When she doesn't feel these ways in response to his advances, it falls outside of his social schema for woman that he has built through exposure to strippers and cam girls and prostitutes who were always so positively rewarding to his sexual advances.

Granted, pornography is easily the most benign of sex work for a woman to engage in. However, personal sexual work, like prostitution, stripping, and camming, are all very personal and therefore the most likely to have a significant impact on the mindsets of the customers. The problem is, nothing happens in a vacuum. This sort of sex work may very well be empowering for the woman, but the effect overall is the operant conditioning of her customers to become less sensitive to the abnormality of being able to pay for sex, while positively rewarding them for their sexual advances, so long as they provide money.

/r/TwoXChromosomes Thread