Here’s Exactly Why Catcalling Can Be So Dangerous

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet
BRB, adding this to the ever-growing list of reasons you shouldn't catcall. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Kent found that those who sexually objectified women had a higher association with aggression. They also took a look at how gang affiliation influenced these tendencies, and all in all, it's pretty bleak. Those behind the study were inspired by previous research. "Sexual objectification is related to various negative attitudes and outcomes, including rape proclivity and reduced moral concern for the objectified," the abstract reads. "Which suggests that objectification has implications for aggression." By taking a look at adolescents and gang-affiliated youth, the study found that objectification correlated with aggression towards girls as well as gang affiliation. Furthermore, objectification predicted aggression towards girls. Catcalling and objectifying women quite literally means treating them as objects rather than human beings, so this link isn't surprising. Dehumanizing a person down to their body parts is pretty aggressive as is. It's just disheartening to hear what we already knew — catcalling is a part of a larger problem and indicative of a bigger issue in society. This is made even worse by the fact that there's no clear way to handle being catcalled since reacting badly can have some pretty dangerous consequences. Hopefully, further research like this will help us figure out the mystery.

More from Trends

R29 Original Series