Do men find "bony" women attractive? Consequences of misperceiving opposite sex perceptions of attractive body image

Rochelle L. Bergstrom, Clayton Neighbors, Melissa Ardelle Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Due to its role in the development and maintenance of eating disorders, body image perceptions and dissatisfaction continue to be an important area of study. Perceptions of attractive body images held by members of the opposite sex are an important determinant of body image satisfaction among both men and women. This research shows that men are accurate in their perceptions of what women find attractive among men, but women believe men want women to be thinner than men actually report. Furthermore, this inaccurate perception is associated with eating disorder symptomatology. The role of contingent self-worth was also assessed. Results indicate that individuals whose self-worth is more contingent on appearance-related standards experience more negative consequences than those who misperceive what the opposite sex finds attractive, but whose self-worth is less contingent on appearance. Implications for intervention are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalBody Image
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2004

Keywords

  • Body image
  • Contingent self-worth
  • Normative misperception

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