The message that women should be thin comes from many sources; some of which may be using the terminology loosely. To test this, the Figure Rating Scale was mailed to 547 personal ad writers to examine the actual preferences of those seeking a thin partner, those seeking a physically fit partner, and those giving no weight preference. Respondents indicated ideal and acceptable body sizes for partners. The ethnicity of respondents was 85.1% White, 7.5% Hispanic, 1.4% African American, 0.7% American Indian, and 4.1% other. The mean education level was 16.6 years and the average annual income was about $40,000. Although males in the three ad categories had statistically significant differences in their choice of an ideal figure, the actual figure size differences appeared negligible, and men did not differ in the number of figures they found acceptable. Females chose the same figure as ideal despite different weight requests. The implications of males accepting a wide range of body sizes for a partner despite specifically requesting a thin one are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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