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Effect of Thin vs. Plus-Size Models: A Comparison of Body Image Ideals by Gender
Unformatted Document Text:  Ideal Body Image, 17 ratings. While women’s attractiveness ratings showed no significant differences between thin (M = 5.7) and plus-size (M = 5.6) models, a significant difference was found in men’s ratings, thin (M = 6.6) and plus-size (M = 4.7), t (114) = 7.07, p < .001. In summary, in comparison to the average model, the thin models were rated as average and the plus-size models were rated as overweight. However, men rated thin models as more attractive than plus-size models, whereas this difference was not evident among women. Comparison to Average Woman. As intended, thin models were perceived to be significantly thinner than the average woman (males M = 1.1, females M = 1.1), but plus- size models were perceived as average in comparison to the average woman (males M= 2.2, females M = 2.2). The perception that plus-size models resembled the average woman and that they were overweight in comparison to the average model is important for the ecological validity of the manipulation. The differences in perceived weight between thin and plus-size models were tested among men, t (114) = 19.76, p < .001, and women t (125) = 22.7, p < .001, and both differences were significant. The pattern of results for the thinness ratings closely matched the weight data. On attractiveness, men perceived thin models to be more attractive (M = 7.3) than plus-size models (M = 5.6), t (114) = 6.24, p < .001. Women, on the other hand, found plus-size models (M = 6.6) to be slightly more attractive than the thin models (M = 6.0), t (125) = 2.2, p < .05. In short, in comparison to the average woman, thin models were rated as underweight and the plus-size models were rated as average. While men rated thin models as more attractive than plus-size models, women rated plus-size models as slightly more attractive than thin models.

Authors: Prabu, David., Liu, Kaiya. and Cortese, Juliann.
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Ideal Body Image, 17
ratings. While women’s attractiveness ratings showed no significant differences between
thin (M = 5.7) and plus-size (M = 5.6) models, a significant difference was found in
men’s ratings, thin (M = 6.6) and plus-size (M = 4.7), t (114) = 7.07, p < .001. In
summary, in comparison to the average model, the thin models were rated as average and
the plus-size models were rated as overweight. However, men rated thin models as more
attractive than plus-size models, whereas this difference was not evident among women.
Comparison to Average Woman. As intended, thin models were perceived to be
significantly thinner than the average woman (males M = 1.1, females M = 1.1), but plus-
size models were perceived as average in comparison to the average woman (males M=
2.2, females M = 2.2). The perception that plus-size models resembled the average
woman and that they were overweight in comparison to the average model is important
for the ecological validity of the manipulation. The differences in perceived weight
between thin and plus-size models were tested among men, t (114) = 19.76, p < .001, and
women t (125) = 22.7, p < .001, and both differences were significant. The pattern of
results for the thinness ratings closely matched the weight data. On attractiveness, men
perceived thin models to be more attractive (M = 7.3) than plus-size models (M = 5.6), t
(114) = 6.24, p < .001. Women, on the other hand, found plus-size models (M = 6.6) to
be slightly more attractive than the thin models (M = 6.0), t (125) = 2.2, p < .05. In short,
in comparison to the average woman, thin models were rated as underweight and the
plus-size models were rated as average. While men rated thin models as more attractive
than plus-size models, women rated plus-size models as slightly more attractive than thin
models.


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