Body shape ideals across gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race, and age in personal advertisements

Journal Article

Objective: To assess body shape ideals across gender, sexual orientation, race, socioeconomic status, and age. Method: An analysis of personal advertisements was conducted across seven different publications which targeted the groups of interest. Results: Women advertised body weight much less often than men, and lesbians reported body shape descriptors significantly less often than heterosexual women. Gay men and African- American men described their body shape significantly more often than did other groups. However, their reported body mass indices (BMI) were significantly different-African-American men reported a higher BMI, and gay men a lower BMI, than Euro-American heterosexual men. Discussion: Race and sexual orientation may influence the importance of size of body shape ideals for men. For women, however, their advertised weights conformed to the thin ideal across all groups surveyed. Gender roles affecting body shape ideals and mate attraction are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Epel, ES; Spanakos, A; Kasl-Godley, J; Brownell, KD

Published Date

  • 1996

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 265 - 273

PubMed ID

  • 8704725

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0276-3478

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/(SICI)1098-108X(199604)19:3<265::AID-EAT5>3.0.CO;2-K