Lesbians, bisexual women, and body image: An investigation of gender roles and social group affiliation
Objective: This study examined the effects of considering oneself to be masculine, feminine, or androgynous in appearance, of having friends who share one's gender and sexual orientation, and of affiliating with three subcommunities within the lesbian society on various aspects of body image. Method: Self-report measures were obtained from 188 lesbian and bisexual females. Results: Feminine women reported lower body satisfaction than did androgynous or masculine identified subjects. Those whose friends shared their sexual orientation and gender had more positive body images than those whose friends shared only gender. In contrast, community affiliation was unrelated to body satisfaction. Discussion: Within-group differences among lesbians may be central to understanding body image in this group.
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