Sex differences in perceptions of desirable body shape.

Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.86). 03/1985; 94(1):102-5. DOI: 10.1037/0021-843X.94.1.102
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Using a set of nine figure drawings arranged from very thin to very heavy figures, 248 male and 227 female undergraduates indicated their current figure, their ideal figure, the figure that they felt would be most attractive to the opposite sex, and the opposite sex figure to which they would be most attracted. For men, the current, ideal, and most attractive figures were almost identical. For women, the current figure was heavier than the most attractive figure, which was heavier than the ideal figure. Both men and women err in estimating what the opposite sex would find attractive. Men think women like a heavier stature than females report they like, and women think men like women thinner than men report they like. Overall, men's perceptions serve to keep them satisfied with their figures, whereas women's perceptions place pressure on them to lose weight. The sex differences we report are probably related to the greater incidence of dieting, anorexia, and bulimia among American women than among American men.

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    ABSTRACT: Several lines of evidence suggest that sexual dimorphism in stature (SDS) is an important variable in human mating. However, few studies have addressed the topic of differentiation of mate preferences in relation to individual attributes. Furthermore, no study has examined the influence of an individual’s dominance on actual and/or preferred partner’s height. Here, the first of two studies (N = 210) provides evidence that dominance significantly influences individual height preferences of women, but not of men. Specifically, less dominant women tended to prefer taller male partners, and more dominant women preferred shorter men relative to their own height. However, the second study, conducted among actual couples (N = 230), indicated that the influence of dominance on mate preferences does not generalize to real mate choices, as we observed no association between men or women’s dominance and actual partner height. Thus, it appears that although various mate characteristics (like SDS) may be preferred in a mate, there are many additional factors related to the choice of an actual partner that determine mate choice.
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Despite a wealth of experimental studies on weight bias, little is known about weight discrimination at the population level. This study examined the prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of perceived weight discrimination in a large population-based sample of older adults.Methods:Data were from 5307 adults in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing; a population-based cohort of men and women aged ≥50y. Weight discrimination was reported for five domains (less respect/courtesy; treated as less clever; poorer treatment in medical settings; poorer service in restaurants/stores; threatened/harassed) at wave 5 (2010/11). Height and weight were measured at wave 4 (2008/09). We used logistic regression to test the odds of weight discrimination in relation to weight status, age, sex, wealth, education, and marital status.Results:Perceived weight discrimination in any domain was reported by 4.6% of participants, ranging from 0.8% in the normal-weight participants through 0.9%, 6.7%, 24.2%, and 35.1% in individuals who were overweight or met criteria for class I, II, and III obesity. Overall, and in each situation, odds of perceived weight discrimination were higher in younger and less wealthy individuals. There was no interaction between weight status and any socio-demographic variable. Relative to normal-weight participants, odds ratios for any perceived weight discrimination were 1.13 [95% confidence interval 0.53-2.40] in those who were overweight, 8.86 [4.65-16.88] in those with class I obesity, 35.06 [18.30-67.16] in class II obese, and 56.43 [27.72-114.87] in class III obese.Conclusion:Our results indicate that rates of perceived weight discrimination are comparatively low in individuals who are overweight or have class I obesity, but for those with class II/III obesity, over 10% had experienced discrimination in each domain, and over 20% had been treated with less respect or courtesy. These findings have implications for public policy and highlight the need for effective interventions to promote equality.International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview online, 20 October 2014. doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.186.
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