The Role of Body Size in Mate Selection among African American Young Adults

The Role of Body Size in Mate Selection among African American Young Adults A profusion of studies have demonstrated that body size is a major factor in mate selection for both men and women. The particular role played by weight, however, has been subject to some debate, particularly with respect to the types of body sizes deemed most attractive, and scholars have questioned the degree to which body size preferences are constant across groups. In this paper, we drew from two perspectives on this issue, Sexual Strategies Theory and what we termed the cultural variability perspective, and used survey data to examine how body size was associated with both casual dating and serious romantic relationships. We used a United States sample of 386 African American adolescents and young adults between ages 16 and 21, living in the Midwest and Southeast, and who were enrolled in either high school or college. Results showed that overweight women were more likely to report casually dating than women in the thinnest weight category. Body size was not related to dating status among men. Among women, the results suggest stronger support for the cultural variability argument than for Sexual Strategies Theory. Potential explanations for these findings are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

The Role of Body Size in Mate Selection among African American Young Adults

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-015-0530-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A profusion of studies have demonstrated that body size is a major factor in mate selection for both men and women. The particular role played by weight, however, has been subject to some debate, particularly with respect to the types of body sizes deemed most attractive, and scholars have questioned the degree to which body size preferences are constant across groups. In this paper, we drew from two perspectives on this issue, Sexual Strategies Theory and what we termed the cultural variability perspective, and used survey data to examine how body size was associated with both casual dating and serious romantic relationships. We used a United States sample of 386 African American adolescents and young adults between ages 16 and 21, living in the Midwest and Southeast, and who were enrolled in either high school or college. Results showed that overweight women were more likely to report casually dating than women in the thinnest weight category. Body size was not related to dating status among men. Among women, the results suggest stronger support for the cultural variability argument than for Sexual Strategies Theory. Potential explanations for these findings are discussed.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 14, 2015

References

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