Sexual objectification refers to the practice of regarding or treating another person merely as an instrument (object) towards the person’s sexual pleasure. Objectification is an attitude that regards a person as a commodity or as an object for use, with insufficient regard for a person’s personality. Objectification is most commonly examined at a societal level, but can also arise at an individual level. The concept of sexual objectification and, in particular, the objectification of women, is an important idea in feminist theory and psychological theories derived from feminism.
Many feminists regard sexual objectification as objectionable and as playing an important role in the inequality of the sexes. Some social commentators, however, argue that some modern women objectify themselves as an expression of their empowerment over men, while others argue that increased sexual freedom has led to an increase of the objectification of men.The idea of sexual objectification has also been an important area of discussion and debate in the area of sexual ethics and the philosophy of sex.