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Effects of Ideal Body Images--Translatable Across Gender and Culture?
Unformatted Document Text:  18 Geographic origins of the subjects were found to be influential on participants’ evaluation of body image in this case, in which Chinese male college students from urban areas (M = 4.40, SD = .91) think more positive of their own body shape than those from rural areas (M = 3.80, SD = .81), t (57) = 2.46, p < .05. This may be due to the fact that, in China, people get extensive exposure to media images in urban areas while relatively little in rural areas, therefore Chinese male students from rural areas were more likely to be influenced by advertisement images. However, there was no difference regarding self- esteem. Limitation and Future Research This research is subject to several limitations. First, because of the homogeneous characteristics of the college student sample, there may be concerns regarding potential projections of findings to the general population, especially in the Chinese case where about 80% of the entire population lives in rural areas, which could not be appropriately represented by student samples. Second, the reliability of Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale used in this study was only .65, although it had been tested in previous research done in China (e.g., Zhou, Xue and Zhou, 2002) with higher reliability. This might influence participants’ understanding of the questions. We realized that the effects of exposure to ideal body images in advertisements were not the same for everyone. Some individual variables may act as confounds. These include, for example, that whether a person is inclined to comparison, whether the person is individualistic or collectivistic and how a person perceives his/her body image in the first place. Therefore, these should be taken into consideration in future research.

Authors: Xue, Fei., Zhou, Shuhua. and Zhou, Peiqin.
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18
Geographic origins of the subjects were found to be influential on participants’
evaluation of body image in this case, in which Chinese male college students from urban
areas (M = 4.40, SD = .91) think more positive of their own body shape than those from
rural areas (M = 3.80, SD = .81), t (57) = 2.46, p < .05. This may be due to the fact that,
in China, people get extensive exposure to media images in urban areas while relatively
little in rural areas, therefore Chinese male students from rural areas were more likely to
be influenced by advertisement images. However, there was no difference regarding self-
esteem.
Limitation and Future Research
This research is subject to several limitations. First, because of the homogeneous
characteristics of the college student sample, there may be concerns regarding potential
projections of findings to the general population, especially in the Chinese case where
about 80% of the entire population lives in rural areas, which could not be appropriately
represented by student samples. Second, the reliability of Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale
used in this study was only .65, although it had been tested in previous research done in
China (e.g., Zhou, Xue and Zhou, 2002) with higher reliability. This might influence
participants’ understanding of the questions.
We realized that the effects of exposure to ideal body images in advertisements
were not the same for everyone. Some individual variables may act as confounds. These
include, for example, that whether a person is inclined to comparison, whether the person
is individualistic or collectivistic and how a person perceives his/her body image in the
first place. Therefore, these should be taken into consideration in future research.


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