Embodied image: Gender differences in functional and aesthetic body image among Australian adolescents

Murdoch University, School of Psychology, South Street, Murdoch 6150, Western Australia, Australia.
Body image (Impact Factor: 2.19). 11/2009; 7(1):22-31. DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2009.10.004
Source: PubMed


Perceptions of the body are not restricted to the way the body "looks"; they may also extend to the way the body "functions". This research explores body image among male and female adolescents using the Embodied Image Scale (EIS), which incorporates body function into body image. Adolescents (N=1526, male=673, female=853) aged 12-17 (M=13.83, SD=1.02), from 26 Western Australian high schools were surveyed. Information was gathered on pubertal timing, body mass index (BMI) and body image. Participants reported significantly higher value of, behavioral-investment in, and satisfaction with the functional dimension of the body compared to the aesthetic dimension. After controlling for age, pubertal timing, and BMI, females reported significantly higher aesthetic values and aesthetic behavioral-investment, and lower aesthetic satisfaction, functional values, functional behavioral-investment and functional satisfaction than male participants. Grade, pubertal timing and BMI category differences were also explored.

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Available from: Bree Abbott, Jun 26, 2014
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    • "Homan and Tylka (2014) further provided support for Functional Satisfaction's convergent validity via its strong positive links with body appreciation and internal body orientation among U.S. college women (functional values and investment were not assessed). Abbott and Barber (2010) further observed specific gender, age, BMI, and pubertal timing differences in the EIS functionality subscales in their adolescent sample. Girls reported lower values on all three subscales. "
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    ABSTRACT: Empirical and clinical interest in positive body image has burgeoned in recent years. This focused attention is generating various measures and methods for researchers and psychotherapists to assess an array of positive body image constructs in populations of interest. No resource to date has integrated the available measures and methods for easy accessibility and comparison. Therefore, this article reviews contemporary scales for the following positive body image constructs: body appreciation, positive rational acceptance, body image flexibility, body functionality, attunement (body responsiveness, mindful self-care), positive/self-accepting body talk, body pride, body sanctification, broad conceptualization of beauty, and self-perceived body acceptance by others. Guidelines for the qualitative assessment of positive body image and recommendations for integrating positive body image assessment within psychotherapy and applied research settings are also offered. The article concludes with articulating broad future directions for positive body image assessment, including ideas for expanding its available measures, methods, and dynamic expressions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Body image 04/2015; 14. DOI:10.1016/j.bodyim.2015.03.010 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    • "In summary, there is an emerging need to focus on both the aesthetic and functional aspects of body image as there is increasing evidence to suggest that the body is valued not only in terms of what it looks like but also what it can do (Abbott and Barber 2010; Abbott et al. 2012). To this end, the current paper adds to the limited research around body conceptualization theory by specifically comparing females' responses to images focussing on the body as an object or the functional components of the body, in line with calls for more research around appearance / performance distinctions (e.g., Abbott and Barber 2010; Wasylkiw et al. 2009). Additionally, a number of methodological advantages over past research were incorporated. "
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    ABSTRACT: Negative effects of viewing images of thin and attractive models have been well documented. However, these models are typically presented in an objectified, passive form with a focus on the aesthetic qualities of the body. Little is known about women’s responses to models presented in an active form, with a focus on athleticism and performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to test body conceptualization theory by exposing women to models presented with a focus on the body-as-object (BAO), the body-as-process (BAP), or images of scenery, and to examine whether a desire to achieve an athletic body interacted with these effects. A convenience sample of 160 women was recruited from the general public, gyms, and university in a regional Australian area. Participants completed pre- and post-test measures of state mood, fitness and body satisfaction as well as a trait measure of athletic internalization. Results showed that exposure to either BAP or BAO images produced similar negative outcomes compared to exposure to scenery. Thus, emphasis on performance cues still elicits negative self-evaluations. However, differences between women high and low on athletic internalization were primarily found in response to the BAO images. That is, women who desired an athletic physique reported greater depression, anger and feelings of fatness after viewing the posed models compared to women who expressed less desire for an athletic body shape. Further research is needed around the ways in which athletic images and athletic internalization can be used to foster a more positive body image.
    Sex Roles 12/2014; 72(3-4). DOI:10.1007/s11199-014-0440-2 · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    • "Finally, although we identified distinct forms of engagements with the male body and linked them with masculinity ideologies and the male physic, the core differences between these body ideologies are not uniquely male (Abbott & Barber, 2010). Future research and theoretical syntheses could strive to articulate these distinct forms of body engagements as part of a more comprehensive approach to the psychology of both men's and women's bodies. "
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    ABSTRACT: Psychological research of the body disproportionately centers on body-appearance concerns. Grounded in women's experience of objectification, it neglects much of men's bodily experience. To address this we introduce Masculine Body Ideologies (MBI), a set of belief systems that prescribe how men should engage with their bodies. Three MBI ideal-types are identified and situated within broader masculinity ideologies: unattended, functional body ideology associated with traditional masculinity rooted in modern industrial society; metrosexual body ideology associated with post-industrial, consumer masculinity and reemploying signifiers of body functionality to form an objectified body esthetics; and holistic body ideology emphasizing inner-harmony, authenticity and expressivity, manifesting post-industrial trends of self-aware masculinity. As a normative framework, MBI underscores how similar body practices may be motivated by different body concerns associated with alternative body ideologies. This framework can clarify conceptual and empirical inconsistencies in studies of male body-appearance concerns and inform emerging research and mental-health considerations.
    Body Image 09/2014; 11(4):570–580. DOI:10.1016/j.bodyim.2014.07.011 · 1.90 Impact Factor
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