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Sex Differences in the Contributions of Appearance-Related Messages to Body Esteem and Perceptions of Thinness
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by Carrie L. Giant, Rhonda M. Passino, and Lesa Rae Vartanian* - Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis
Categories: Gender | Motivation | Personality | Social
Past research has indicated that satisfaction with one’s body shape is negatively correlated with mass media influence and appearance-related feedback from family and peers. The present research investigated sex differences in the contributions of those sociocultural factors to body esteem and perceptions of thinness. One hundred sixty-six women and 113 men completed questionnaires measuring body esteem, perceptions of current body shape compared to perceptions of desired and perceived ideal body shapes, extent of susceptibility to mass media model influence, frequency of teasing from family and peers, and frequency of body-related discussions with peers. Correlations among these variables indicated sex differences, and reinforced the importance of sociocultural influences on perceptions of the body for both men and women.