Article

“Sex Differences in Perceptions of Desirable Body Shape.”

Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 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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    • "" These results suggest that body dissatisfaction may derive from an extreme overestimation of real size. Contrary to what has been reported in other samples (Fallon & Rozin, 1985; Lamb et al., 1993; Raudenbush & Zellner, 1997), men and women judged as ideal to the same-gender peers the same silhouette that was selected as ideal by the opposite gender. The mean BMIs were significantly different but had minimal practical significance, contradicting our third hypothesis. "

    Full-text · Dataset · Sep 2015
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    • "" These results suggest that body dissatisfaction may derive from an extreme overestimation of real size. Contrary to what has been reported in other samples (Fallon & Rozin, 1985; Lamb et al., 1993; Raudenbush & Zellner, 1997), men and women judged as ideal to the same-gender peers the same silhouette that was selected as ideal by the opposite gender. The mean BMIs were significantly different but had minimal practical significance, contradicting our third hypothesis. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate gender differences in the accuracy of body size estimation and body dissatisfaction among Brazilian undergraduates and their relationships with perceptions of the ideal body silhouettes that would be selected by same-gender and opposite-gender peers. A total of 159 undergraduates (79 males) froma public University in Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo, Brazil, participated in the study. They completed a Figure Rating Scale and indicated the figure that best describes the size of their own body (actual), their desired body, the body they judged would be ideal to same-gender peers, and the body they judged would be ideal to opposite-gender peers. The results showed that women were less precise in estimating their actual size and more dissatisfied. The mean Body Mass Index (BMI) that was selected as "current" by women was significantly higher than their desired and ideal BMIs, whereas the mean BMIs that were selected by men were practically the same. Men and women selected ideal silhouettes for their own gender that were the same as those that were selected as ideal by the opposite gender. The mean BMIs that were actually chosen by men and women as desired and ideal were closer to the upper end of normal weight and lower end of overweight, respectively. Such results contradict what has been assumed to be a normative characteristic of men and women in several countries, raising some doubts regarding the role of beliefs about judgments of the opposite gender in the development of body image disturbances.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Eating behaviors
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    • "These include economic parameters, like possessions, wealth and social economic status (SES) (Drury, 2000; Swami et al., 2010), psychological components such as cognitive ability, behavior, personality and social competence (Eagly et al., 1991), physiological aspects such as the major histocompatibility complex status (Thornhill et al., 2003), hormone levels (Pawlowski & Sorokowski, 2008) and age (Borgerhoff Mulder, 1998). In addition, physical aspects such as leg length (Swami, Einon & Furnham, 2006b), the shape of the face (Grammer & Thornhill, 1994; Perrett et al., 1998) and shape of the body (Fallon & Rozin, 1985; Furnham, Tan & McManus, 1997; Singh, 1993; Singh & Young, 1995; Swami et al., 2006a; Swami & Tovee, 2005; Tovée et al., 2006; Tovee & Cornelissen, 2001; Tovee et al., 2002; Wass et al., 1997) including the role of symmetry (Perrett et al., 1998; Singh, 1993; Singh & Young, 1995; Smith, Cornelissen & Tovée, 2007; Tovee & Cornelissen, 2001; Tovee et al., 2002) are also significant factors affecting attractiveness. The relative importance of these different dimensions for physical attractiveness may vary between the sexes and across cultures. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aspects of the female body may be attractive because they signal evolutionary fitness. Greater body fatness might reflect greater potential to survive famines, but individuals carrying larger fat stores may have poor health and lower fertility in non-famine conditions. A mathematical statistical model using epidemiological data linking fatness to fitness traits, predicted a peaked relationship between fatness and attractiveness (maximum at body mass index (BMI) = 22.8 to 24.8 depending on ethnicity and assumptions). Participants from three Caucasian populations (Austria, Lithuania and the UK), three Asian populations (China, Iran and Mauritius) and four African populations (Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal) rated attractiveness of a series of female images varying in fatness (BMI) and waist to hip ratio (WHR). There was an inverse linear relationship between physical attractiveness and body fatness or BMI in all populations. Lower body fat was more attractive, down to at least BMI = 19. There was no peak in the relationship over the range we studied in any population. WHR was a significant independent but less important factor, which was more important (greater r (2)) in African populations. Predictions based on the fitness model were not supported. Raters appeared to use body fat percentage (BF%) and BMI as markers of age. The covariance of BF% and BMI with age indicates that the role of body fatness alone, as a marker of attractiveness, has been overestimated.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · PeerJ
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