Heartbeats remind women that they are human

Being aware of heartbeats helps women objectify themselves lesser

Woman looking in the mirror

Despite what most feminists might believe but it isn’t that men always objectify women. In fact most times women evaluate their self-worth based on their attractiveness as well as health. But women do not consider their bodies primarily as objects if they are more aware of their bodies from within, according to a research published on February 6 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Vivien Ainley and Manos Tsakiris from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London.

For the study, the researchers asked healthy young women aged between 19 – 26 to focus on their heartbeats and measure its pace, simply by turning their attention inward. They then compared how well they perceived their heartbeats related to the extent they considered themselves to be objects. The degree of objectification was measured on how they scored 10 body attributes of their sense of self. The attributes rated not just their appearance based metrics like attractiveness or body measurements but also their inner metrics like health and energy levels.

Accuracy in detecting their heartbeats was directly related to lower degree of self-objectification. Better the women were at sensing their heartbeats, lesser they thought of themselves as objects.

Dr Tsakiris said, “People have the remarkable ability to perceive themselves from the perspective of an outside observer. However, there is a danger that some women can develop an excessive tendency to regard their bodies as ‘objects’, while neglecting to value them from within, for their physical competence and health. Women who ‘self-objectify’, in this way, are vulnerable to eating disorders and a range of other clinical conditions such as depression and sexual dysfunction.”

Fellow researcher Vivien Ainley commented that, “We believe that our measure of body awareness, which assesses how well women are able to listen to their internal signals, will prove a valuable addition to research into self-objectification and women’s resulting mental health.”

Who knew, following your heart could have multi-fold benefits!



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