Is Fat a Feminist Issue? Exploring the Gendered Nature of Weight Bias

Is Fat a Feminist Issue? Exploring the Gendered Nature of Weight Bias Although research and scholarship on weight-based stigma have increased substantially in recent years, the disproportionate degree of bias experienced by fat women has received considerably less attention. This paper reviews the literature on the weight-based stigma experienced by women in North America in multiple domains, including employment, education settings, romantic relationships, health care and mental health treatment, and portrayals in the media. We also explore the research examining the intersection of gender and ethnicity related to weight stigma. Across numerous settings, fat women fare worse than thinner women and worse than men, whether the men are fat or thin. Women experience multiple deleterious outcomes as a result of weight bias that have a significant impact on health, quality of life, and socioeconomic outcomes. Because of this gender disparity, we argue that feminist scholars need to devote as much attention to the lived experiences of fat women as they have to the “fear of fat” experienced by thin women. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Is Fat a Feminist Issue? Exploring the Gendered Nature of Weight Bias

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general; Gender Studies
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-011-0022-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although research and scholarship on weight-based stigma have increased substantially in recent years, the disproportionate degree of bias experienced by fat women has received considerably less attention. This paper reviews the literature on the weight-based stigma experienced by women in North America in multiple domains, including employment, education settings, romantic relationships, health care and mental health treatment, and portrayals in the media. We also explore the research examining the intersection of gender and ethnicity related to weight stigma. Across numerous settings, fat women fare worse than thinner women and worse than men, whether the men are fat or thin. Women experience multiple deleterious outcomes as a result of weight bias that have a significant impact on health, quality of life, and socioeconomic outcomes. Because of this gender disparity, we argue that feminist scholars need to devote as much attention to the lived experiences of fat women as they have to the “fear of fat” experienced by thin women.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 19, 2011

References

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