Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Re-visioning the Feminine: Unveiling the Cultural Shadow of Female Sexual Objectification
by Comaroto, Maryanne, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2018, 387; 10812410
Abstract (Summary)

Concerned with the unconscious, embodied experience of heterosexual women affected by female sexual objectification (FSO), this research takes a depth psychological, somatic approach to addressing the Western cultural split between mind and body. This study explores the archetypal, thematic material constellating in the dynamics of FSO, its traumatogenic effects, and women’s internalization of FSO as a psychosocial survival strategy. It asks the question: How can FSO be ameliorated, bringing the rejected body and sacred feminine sexuality out of the shadow and back into consciousness? Using a co-operative inquiry methodology six women explored the inquiry questions using Open Floor movement to access the somatic unconscious followed by journaling, group dialogue, and art production. Findings validated women’s ways of knowing; revealed ways that FSO shapes women’s relationship with their bodies, sexuality, and subjectivity; substantiated FSO as a cultural complex; advanced the critique surrounding the normalization and personal burden associated with FSO as a cultural trauma; and illuminated the archetypal plurality of psyche, evidenced in women’s embodied experience with the transpersonal feminine, the self, others, and world. Findings also illustrated the strength, efficacy, and importance of using a body-oriented approach to inquiry and discovered archetypal energies of the feminine that emerged from the unconscious in and through the women’s bodies, bringing forward previously split-off potential for self-efficacy and agency.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Easter, Sandra
Commitee: Ciaramicoli, Arthur, Schul, Jeanne
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Somatic Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Sexuality, Womens studies, Psychology
Keywords: Archetypal, Cultural complex, Embodied feminine, Female sexuality, Sexual objectification, Somatic
Publication Number: 10812410
ISBN: 978-0-355-88466-1
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