“Only Girls Who Want Fat Legs Take the Elevator”: Body Image in Single-Sex and Mixed-Sex Colleges

“Only Girls Who Want Fat Legs Take the Elevator”: Body Image in Single-Sex and Mixed-Sex... Because women at single-sex colleges are constantly surrounded by other women with whom they can visually compare themselves, and because we believed that physical appearance-based social comparison would impact body ideals and self-objectification, we predicted that students at a women’s college would endorse thinner body ideals and display more self-objectification as compared to female students at a mixed-sex college, and that these differences would be especially prominent between upper grade level students. Surveys were completed by 175 undergraduate female students at a women’s college and a mixed-sex college located in the same U.S. Midwestern city. Results were opposite of what we predicted; women at the women’s college were more likely to endorse larger body ideals, whereas women at the mixed-sex college were more likely to endorse thinner ideals. As predicted, there was a significant difference in scores between the upper college year students; lower college year students did not show significant differences in ideals, suggesting that although female students may enter college with similar body ideals, 4 years in a mixed-sex or single-sex setting can drastically alter how women think about body types. There were no differences between schools for self-objectification or physical appearance social comparison, and physical appearance social comparison did not correlate to body ideals. Taken together, this pattern of results suggests that social comparison does not influence body ideals, but rather, other characteristics of a single-sex and mixed-sex environment do. What these characteristics may be (e.g. presence of men, exposure to counterstereotypic role models) are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

“Only Girls Who Want Fat Legs Take the Elevator”: Body Image in Single-Sex and Mixed-Sex Colleges

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/only-girls-who-want-fat-legs-take-the-elevator-body-image-in-single-0QqX33ma02
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-012-0189-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Because women at single-sex colleges are constantly surrounded by other women with whom they can visually compare themselves, and because we believed that physical appearance-based social comparison would impact body ideals and self-objectification, we predicted that students at a women’s college would endorse thinner body ideals and display more self-objectification as compared to female students at a mixed-sex college, and that these differences would be especially prominent between upper grade level students. Surveys were completed by 175 undergraduate female students at a women’s college and a mixed-sex college located in the same U.S. Midwestern city. Results were opposite of what we predicted; women at the women’s college were more likely to endorse larger body ideals, whereas women at the mixed-sex college were more likely to endorse thinner ideals. As predicted, there was a significant difference in scores between the upper college year students; lower college year students did not show significant differences in ideals, suggesting that although female students may enter college with similar body ideals, 4 years in a mixed-sex or single-sex setting can drastically alter how women think about body types. There were no differences between schools for self-objectification or physical appearance social comparison, and physical appearance social comparison did not correlate to body ideals. Taken together, this pattern of results suggests that social comparison does not influence body ideals, but rather, other characteristics of a single-sex and mixed-sex environment do. What these characteristics may be (e.g. presence of men, exposure to counterstereotypic role models) are discussed.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 1, 2012

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed
Create lists to
organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off