In-depth interviews were conducted with 42 women and men (aged 22–62 years) to explore their relationships with their bodies. The particular focus was age-related changes in body image and attitudes toward the body aging, an area that has received little research attention to date. Thematic analysis revealed distinctive gender differences. Men commonly conceptualized their bodies as a holistic entity, whereas women commonly had compartmentalized conceptualizations. They also construed the importance of their bodies differently: men tended to focus on functionality, and women tended to focus on display. These findings may help to explain gendered consequences of body dissatisfaction. Accounts about the aging of the body support a “double standard of aging.” Women viewed aging most negatively in terms of its impact on appearance, whereas men reported a neutral or even positive impact on appearance.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2004
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