Actual Differences and Stereotypical Perceptions in Body Image and Eating Disturbance: A Comparison of Male and Female Heterosexual and Homosexual Samples

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body image disturbance & weight & dieting concerns from perspective of self vs typical other, homosexual vs heterosexual males vs females

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32 homosexual males (HMM), 32 homosexual females (HMF), 32 heterosexual males (HTM), and 32 heterosexual females (HTF) completed measures of body image disturbance and concerns with weight and dieting from 5 different perspectives: self, and "typical" homosexual male, heterosexual male, heterosexual female, and homosexual female. In general, HMMs and HTFs showed greater actual concerns with appearance, weight, and dieting, and were perceived to possess greater body image disturbance and dieting concerns compared to HTMs and HMFs. Ss also held various stereotypic misperceptions about certain target groups: HTFs and HMMs were predicted to possess greater body image disturbance and be more concerned with weight and dieting than was actually true. In addition, Ss made accurate predictions about HTMs overall, but were inconsistent in their predictions of HMFs on these measures.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Sex Roles, v. 29, issue 7-8, p. 1-18