Volume 11

Men’s and Women’s Comments: The Perceived Effects of the Source of Body-Related Comments on Women’s Body Images

Erica Tamlyn and Andrea Weingartner

The purpose of this study was to investigate the anticipated effects of body-related comments on women’s body images. Participants included 94 young women who were randomly assigned to read one of four scenarios that asked them to imagine overhearing a conversation where either, male or female, peers commented positively or negatively about their bodies. Pre-scenario questions assessed participants’ self-consciousness and body size and post-scenario questions assessed self-esteem and body-esteem as well as demographics. Results indicated that when women heard negative body-related comments by peers their body image was negatively affected, especially when the comments were made by men. Further, women who were more self-consciousness and had larger body-ideal discrepancy scores, had lower self-esteem, body appearance esteem and body weight esteem in regard to negative comments than less self-conscious women. Lastly, participants with higher body mass indexes reported greater body dissatisfaction and that their family members encouraged them to diet. The impact of pressures to conform to female body ideals is discussed.

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