Sexist slurs and self-objectification

Current project leader: Carmen Cervone

Description: One function of derogatory language is the dehumanization of groups and individuals. Derogatory labels increase dehumanization in bystanders; research however has yet to investigate whether the same applies to victims themselves. We are focusing specifically on sexist slurs and self-objectification. Results show that sexist slurs lead participants to consider themselves as less human- and more object-like and that this effect is mediated by meta-dehumanization. We are currently addressing the question of what are the outcomes of self-objectification elicited by slurs. This is relevant, especially in light of the debate around hate speech policing.


  • International Society for Self and Identity (ISSI) Mini Research Grant. “What’s in a name? The effects of sexist slurs on women’s perceptions of self”. Awarded to Carmen Cervone (2021).
  • European Association of Social Psychology (EASP) seedcorn grant. “Body concealment: the flip side of self-objectification”. Awarded to Carmen Cervone, Silvia Galdi, Francesca Guizzo, Daniela Ruzzante, Caterina Suitner (2023).

Representative publications:

  • Cervone, C., Augoustinos, M., & Maass, A. (2021). The Language of Derogation and Hate: Functions, Consequences, and Reappropriation. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 40(1), 80–101. 


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