Personify vs Thingify: The Pivital Role of Objectification in Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and Moral Disengagement

Philosophers still debate what it means to be a person, but generally “persons” display characteristics such as consciousness, reason, personality, feelings, the exercise of free will, as well as the ability to make moral judgements and form social relationships. Objects,…

Personify vs Thingify: The Pivital Role of Objectification in Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and Moral Disengagement

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Philosophers still debate what it means to be a person, but generally “persons” display characteristics such as consciousness, reason, personality, feelings, the exercise of free will, as well as the ability to make moral judgements and form social relationships. Objects, on the other hand, are generally described as “things” lacking cognition, reason, feelings, etc., which are used, controlled, and known by their physical properties. When persons are treated in ways which dissect them from their personal characteristics, they are reduced to the status of objects—“objectified.” Sexual objectification of persons, whether through interpersonal interactions or the media, fragments persons into a collection of sexual parts/functions to be used and consumed by others and is at the heart of sexual abuse and exploitation. This presentation will explore “objectification theory,” categories of objectification, as well as research findings on the impacts of objectification.

BIO
As Vice President of Policy and Research for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Lisa conducts policy analysis and advocacy, advances understanding of pornography’s public health harms, and liaises with public officials, advocates, and academics to advance strategies combating the web of sexual exploitation, including pornography, stripping, prostitution, sexual trafficking, sexual assault, and more.
Lisa joined NCOSE following two years with World Hope International, where, as Director of Anti-Trafficking, Lisa oversaw sex trafficking recovery programs in Cambodia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Lisa is a contributing author to “Hands that Heal: International Curriculum for Caregivers of Trafficking Survivors”, as well as the book “Global Perspectives on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: Europe, Latin America, North America, and Global.” Lisa also routinely speaks and trains on sexual exploitation topics for a diverse range of audiences. Lisa served for more than 12 years as the Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking for The Salvation Army USA National Headquarters.
Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Western Kentucky University, and Master’s degree in Leadership, Public Policy and Social Issues from Union Institute and University.

This presentation was given at the 2019 Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Global Summit. endexploitationsummit.com/

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