Gender and regional differences in body-image preference among African-Americans
This study investigated four questions: (1) Do Black men and women differ in body-image preferences? (2) Do Black women who have their roots in the Northeast differ in body-image preferences from Black women who have their roots in the South? (3) Are body-image preferences of Black men and women different on the two scales used in this study? (4) Do Black men and women correctly estimate the level of thinness that the opposite sex finds most attractive? The Figure Rating Scale and Contour Drawing Rating Scale were administered to 68 undergraduate Black women and 34 undergraduate Black men. The results indicate that Black women have a body-image discrepancy between their mean current, ideal and attractive figure choices on both scales whereas Black men show a discrepancy only on the Contour Drawing Rating Scale between their mean current-attractive figure choices and their mean ideal-attractive figure choices. Significant differences were not found between women classified as having their roots in the Northeast or South. The results also reveal that both Black men and women tend to correctly estimate the degree of thinness preferred by the opposite sex except on the Figure Rating Scale. On this scale, Black women would like to be ideally thinner than what men find attractive.