Women working in restaurants could damage their mental health

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The restaurant industry is one of the fastest-growing areas of the US economy. They found that restaurants practicing sexual objectification are not only growing in number but flourishing.

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The study notes that these restaurants put women’s sexuality on display and sanction. Men’s supposed right to stare at and visually scrutinize female servers’ bodies. Judge their physical appearance and sexual desirability. According to a new University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Researchers surveyed 252 female servers, ages 18 to 66. These woman work in a variety of United States restaurants. Including Hooters and Twin Peaks. Forty-nine percent of survey participants currently enrolled in a college or university.

Female servers in these types of restaurants dubbed “Breastaurants”

“We want to raise awareness about the negative impact that these types of restaurant environments may have on female servers,” said Dawn Szymanski, UT professor of psychology and the study’s lead author. “We want the public to use this data in personal decisions about whether to support or not support these types of restaurants.”

The study also found that female servers in these types of restaurants dubbed “breastaurants” because they feature skimpy clothing servers felt that they had less power and control at work.

Szymanski’s previous research examined how “breastaurants” affect the emotional well-being of their female employees. She found that female servers experienced negative emotions including sadness, anxiety, degradation, anger, insecurity, confusion, and guilt.

However, no other researchers have examined the associations between sexually objectifying restaurant environments and anxiety and disordered eating. Extends current research by investigating the restaurants associated with mental health outcomes beyond depression.

Moreover, findings of the study may help psychologists better understand and counsel female clients who are employed at these restaurants. Psychologists might also explore other restaurant employment or career options with their clients and encourage them. Also to get involved in organizations that promote workers’ and women’s rights as a means of empowerment.

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These findings underscore the need to implement both system-level and individual-level interventions to combat the existence of sexually objectifying restaurant environments and the negative effects they may have on women who work in the industry the study states.

 

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