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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, 27 In summary, exposure to plus-size models had a significant effect on men and women, and those with high body mass were influenced more than others. These results essentially replicate the findings from Experiment 1 and offer support for H1, H2, and H3. The prediction that women would be more influenced than men, which was stated in H4, was not supported. Judgment of Social Norms. The focus of this line of analysis was to replicate gender differences in perceptions of social norms of the ideal female body shape that were found in Experiment 1, but without the contamination of the experimental manipulation. See Table 4 for mean ratings. For ideal body shape for self, women rated 2.7, which is significantly thinner than the 3.0 rated by men, t (219) = 3.40, p < .001. Moreover, women overestimated men’s preference for thinness (M = 2.3), compared to the men’s ideal rating of 3.0, t (219) = 6.50, p < .001. A similar bias was found among men as well. Men overestimated (M = 2.1) women’s ideal of thinness, which was thinner than the ideal of 2.7 rated by women, t (238) = 4.9, p < .001. Taken together, results on the perceptions of social norms of body image can be explained as three key findings. First, the ideal body shape that women set for themselves is thinner than their actual. Second, when estimating social norms of what other men or other women would consider ideal, both men and women overestimate the other gender’s preference for thinness. Third, while estimating social norms of what other men and other women would consider ideal, both men and women seem to converge on a common social norm. The third finding varies from the pattern observed in Experiment 1, in which women overestimated men’s preference for thinness, but men’s estimates of women’s preference for thinness was not significantly different. It should be noted,

Authors: Prabu, David., Liu, Kaiya. and Cortese, Juliann.
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Ideal Body Image, 27
In summary, exposure to plus-size models had a significant effect on men and
women, and those with high body mass were influenced more than others. These results
essentially replicate the findings from Experiment 1 and offer support for H1, H2, and
H3. The prediction that women would be more influenced than men, which was stated in
H4, was not supported.
Judgment of Social Norms. The focus of this line of analysis was to replicate
gender differences in perceptions of social norms of the ideal female body shape that
were found in Experiment 1, but without the contamination of the experimental
manipulation. See Table 4 for mean ratings.
For ideal body shape for self, women rated 2.7, which is significantly thinner than
the 3.0 rated by men, t (219) = 3.40, p < .001. Moreover, women overestimated men’s
preference for thinness (M = 2.3), compared to the men’s ideal rating of 3.0, t (219) =
6.50, p < .001. A similar bias was found among men as well. Men overestimated (M =
2.1) women’s ideal of thinness, which was thinner than the ideal of 2.7 rated by women, t
(238) = 4.9, p < .001. Taken together, results on the perceptions of social norms of body
image can be explained as three key findings. First, the ideal body shape that women set
for themselves is thinner than their actual. Second, when estimating social norms of what
other men or other women would consider ideal, both men and women overestimate the
other gender’s preference for thinness. Third, while estimating social norms of what other
men and other women would consider ideal, both men and women seem to converge on a
common social norm. The third finding varies from the pattern observed in Experiment 1,
in which women overestimated men’s preference for thinness, but men’s estimates of
women’s preference for thinness was not significantly different. It should be noted,


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