Gender and ethnic differences in body image and opposite sex figure preferences of rural adolescents.

Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, United States.
Body image (Impact Factor: 2.19). 04/2007; 4(1):103-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2006.11.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study examined whether rural adolescents would report gender and ethnic differences in body image similar to those that have been observed in urban samples. Data were analyzed for 384 rural adolescents (57% African American, 43% Caucasian, mean age 13 years) to determine gender and ethnic differences in body dissatisfaction, body size discrepancy, and current and ideal figure ratings. Females wanted to be smaller and reported more body dissatisfaction than did males. Caucasian females reported the most body dissatisfaction. African Americans reported larger current and ideal figure ratings than did Caucasians. African Americans preferred larger opposite sex figures than did Caucasians. Both African American and Caucasian males selected a larger female figure as ideal than was selected by females. Results demonstrated that gender and ethnic differences exist in body image for rural adolescents. This frequently overlooked population may benefit from further study. Implications of findings and limitations of the study are also discussed.

  • Journal of Intercultural Communication Research 09/2013; 42(3):228-251. DOI:10.1080/17475759.2013.823455
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    ABSTRACT: Often overlooked explanations for the varied obesity rates across ethno-cultural groups include differences in attitudes toward excess weight, with certain populations assumed to have larger ideal body sizes (IBS). Past studies found ethnic and gender difference in IBS across and within different groups. This study examined the effects of ethnicity and gender, and their interaction, in accounting for differences in IBS and attitudes toward those ideals. Multiple regression analyses were used to better understand the effects of ethnicity and gender in accounting for differences in perceived IBS according to ethnic-specific and Western ideals and attitudes in 1,124 people of Native Hawaiian, Filipino, Japanese, and White ancestry. The analyses controlled for socio-demographics, body mass index, health-related behaviors, and psychosocial variables. The results indicated that Native Hawaiians selected larger ethnic IBS, Filipinos selected smaller ethnic IBS, and Native Hawaiians selected slightly smaller Western IBS than other ethnic groups. Overall, males selected larger IBS compared to females. Interaction analyses indicated that the relationship between ethnic IBS and attitude toward that IBS varied as a function of ethnicity, such that Native Hawaiians who selected a larger ethnic IBS held less favorable attitudes toward that IBS. The discrepancy between Native Hawaiians' selection of larger ethnic IBS as ideal and their less positive attitude toward that selection warrants more investigation. However, it does suggest that Native Hawaiians, on a personal level, do not prefer larger body sizes, which contradicts their perceptions of social norms. These findings have important implications for obesity interventions among Native Hawaiians.
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    International journal of adolescence and youth 12/2014; DOI:10.1080/02673843.2014.985320

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