Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal
      

 

Ulybina E.V. The relationship between body image and gender characteristics in youth [Full text]

Full text in Russian: Улыбина Е.В. Связь отношения к телу с гендерными характеристиками в юношеском возрасте
Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia

About author
Suggested citation


The relationship between body satisfaction, evaluation of body influence on the quality of life and gender identity as well as femininity and masculinity levels in young men (n = 115) and young women (n = 99) of student age are considered. The obtained results demonstrated no correlation of body attitude and gender identity level, a positive correlation of masculinity and evaluation of body influence on the quality of life throughout the sample and a positive correlation of masculinity and femininity and evaluation of body influence on the quality of life in gender-type subjects. In all cases body satisfaction was correlated with self-esteem. Self-esteem in young men and women was directly connected with their similarity to male gender group in males and females, and additionally self-esteem in young men was connected with masculinity.

Keywords: body attitude, gender, gender characteristics, gender identity

 

[English translation is provided by the author of the article.]

According to numerous studies females pay more attention to their appearance than males do [Brown, Cash, Mikulka, 1990; Cash, Melnyk, Hrabosky, 2004] and are more dissatisfied with their body image [Feingold, Mazzella, 1998; Field, Colditz, Peterson, 1997; Garner, 1997; Muth & Cash, 1997; Grogan, 1999; Thomas, Ricciardelli, Williams, 2000; Cusumano, Thompson, 2000; Barker, Galambos, 2003; Schooler, Ward, 2006; Durkin, Paxton, 2002;. Pasha, Golshekoh, 2009]. Under [Fallon, Rozin, 1985], 33% of males and 70 % of females evaluate their real body as extremely far from ideal. The differences are explained by cultural factors. For the last 50 years the number of females dissatisfied with their body has “dramatically increased” [Feingold, Mazzella, 1998].

In compliance with the social and cultural model body image in general and body dissatisfaction in particular are results of imposed unrealistic standards transmitted by magazines and TV shows, among other things [Hargreaves, Tiggemann, 2006; Levine, Smolak, Hayden, 1994; Jones, Vigfusdottir, Lee, 2004; Pasha, Golshekoh, 2009]. In compliance with numerous studies [Baranskaya, 2009; Rebenko, 2010; Jones, Vigfusdottir, Lee, 2004; Dohnt, Tiggemann, 2006; Featherstone, 1999, 2010; Gimlin, 2007; Jones, 2004; McCabe, Ricciardelli, 2003; Presnell, Bearman, Stice, 2004]) in the last decades dissatisfaction with body image and desire to alter it is becoming increasingly important.

Modern western culture convinces men and women in the high value of a perfect body and implicitly encourages to make attractive appearance equal to mutually recognized values of self and others [Dohnt, Tiggemann 2006]. The attitude to body image existing in modern society makes one compare himself or herself with the standards prescribed by ideal samples produced by advertisement and fashion industry.

Though attention to the body and body dissatisfaction is quite universal concerning cultural changes. A tendency for appearance modification may be observed in practically every culture throughout many centuries of historical development. Long before fashion magazines and posters appeared, both men and women practiced ritual scarification, tattoo, sawed teeth and painted their faces, while their desire to bring appearance in line with the ideal, “most common” example was considered to be natural. Interest in proper appearance is not only a female characteristic. In archaic cultures males changed and decorated their body not less, and in some cases even more than females. Until the 19th century in Europe men’s clothes were bright and gorgeous. Even now western culture requires great strength, muscular body and large sizes from men. This may be sufficient for profound body dissatisfaction. Actually, in many cases men are dissatisfied with their height, weight, dimensions of muscles and genitals [Cohane, Pope, 2001; Hargreaves, Tiggemann, 2006; Jones, Vigfusdottir; Lee, 2004; Cafri, Thompson, 2004, McCabe, Ricciardelli, 2004; Morrison, Morrison, HopkinsRowan, 2004; Schooler, Ward, 2006].

Nevertheless, males have greater body satisfaction than women do. As the studies show it, [Jones, Vigfusdottir, Lee, 2004; Pasha, Golshekoh, 2009; Cusumano, Thompson, 2000] this phenomenon may be explained by the fact that young males are less susceptible to the influence of images transmitted by the media and mostly compare themselves with their peers from real-life environment and are guided by their opinions. Young males are more susceptible to peer criticism than young females are [Jones, Vigfusdottir, Lee, 2004], what may be attributed to the fact that they are more oriented to be similar to other men as for their body attitude and higher level of body satisfaction as compared to women because they compare themselves with the real images, not with the ideal ones.

One of the presumed factors predisposing higher female susceptibility to cultural influences is gender characteristics.

Presently a wide range of terms reflecting various gender differences is used. They may be referred to people with different passport sex, assigned sex, different gender identities and having different femininity and masculinity intensity, etc.

Passport sex is the sex indicated in the documents that determines major formal aspects of the social standing, including rights of the person. Passport sex relates an individual to the social group of males or females from the formal point of view and does not depend on the degree of psychological self-identification with the group. Unlike gender identification, it has not a continuous, but a discrete borderline. In most cases the passport sex coincides with the biological one, though different passport and biologic sex are also known.

Gender identity is understood as self-identification with a certain gender group, recognition of proper preferential similarity to men and women [Kletsina, 1998; Bendas, 2000; Bern, 2001, Unger, 1979]. In such a case gender identity is regarded as a cultural construct and does not contain universal psychological specific features while its level is to be determined by the subject itself. Gender identity level is a continuous value, one may find similar features with the passport gender and with the other gender in different proportions.

Presently European culture undergoes such processes as changes of gender norms and destruction of sex-role identification. Forms of life of males and females are changing; clear conceptions associated with differences in male and female gender roles are being destructed. In the conditions when behaviorial and psychological grounds for gender identity lose their strength, appearance and body image remain most important gender identification elements, one of essential body assessment criterions being its evaluation as “male” or “female”. A person that identifies himself or herself with a group of men or women shall compare his/her behavior and appearance, in particular, with the one that is considered inherent to men or to women in the given culture. “A widespread strife to enhance sex biological differences and to make bodies look more “masculine” or “feminine” as it was made by Nature testifies to the fact that the gender polarizing lens impacts self perception and self design” [Bem, 204, p. 222]. If people change sex, they try to change not only an endorsement in the passport but also their appearance in compliance with their new gender. This makes it possible to presume that gender identity as the level of similarity to a typical representative of the same gender is directly associated with the evaluation of body importance and body satisfaction.

Essential psychological differences of males and females are reflected in such terms as femininity and masculinity. To create his first inventory for measuring femininity-masculinity L. Terman judged by the concept of “natural”, essential nature of psychological differences of males and females and a set of features that reflect these differences “as they are”. Nevertheless, in the 70s S. Bem proposed her model of femininity-masculinity proportion understood as the result of views on gender differences established in the culture. Her inventory was built on expert judgement of the qualities usually considered desirable for men and women “in American society as a whole” in the mid-70s of the XX century.

According to Bem, femininity and masculinity are schemes that preset perception of any stimulus (people, animals, objects, activities, features of character) as predominantly male or female and their gender-based characteristics make it possible to decide which personal characteristics are related to the self-concept of the subject and which ones may be separated from it [Bem, 1982].

The essence of constituent masculinity features characterizes a person’s activity level, in particular, his self-confidence and independence, orientation towards changing the situation that may enhance the influence of body image on the quality of life and body satisfaction.

The constituent femininity features comprise the characteristics associated with ability to surrender, attention to people, care and other characteristics that presuppose orientation towards appraisal of the others and dependence on such appraisal. Existing studies demonstrate that femininity [Paxton, Sculthorpe, 1991, Dionne, Davis, Fox, Gurevich, 1995] and undesired masculinity [Lancelot, Kaslow, 1998] in females are directly associated with alimentary disorders. More instrumental (masculine) individuals were satisfied with their body [Gillen, Lefkowitz, 2006]. Meaningful inverse correlations between masculinity assessment and dysmorphophobia levels for both genders were found. Meaningless correlations were detected between femininity and dysmorphophobia levels in men and women [Woodiea, Fromuth, 2009].

Body image is a self-evaluation aspect closely associated with the self-esteem of the subject. General self-confidence increases body satisfaction [Sokolova, 1989, Cherkashina, 2010, Henderson-King, Henderson-King, 1997], but research demonstrates that real desired changes in body parameters increases self-confidence [Abel, Richards, 1996; Connors, Сasey, 2006]. This fact makes it possible to suggest that the relationship of body image and gender characteristics is mediated by self-esteem.

Hypothesis

1. Influence of body image on the quality of life and body satisfaction is associated with the level of subjective similarity to a representative of its gender group in young males and young females.

2. Masculinity is directly associated with body satisfaction and with body influence appraisal on the quality of life while femininity has an inverse relationship with these characteristics.

3. Contribution of gender characteristics to body image is mediated by self-esteem.

Method

Subjects

214 people (115 young males, 99 – young females), students of different specializations from different higher educational establishments of Moscow, average age – 20,2 years. The material was collected in the course of graduation paper preparation by E.G.Kikoina (Russian State University of the Humanities) and course paper preparation by E.Shemakova (Russian State University for the Humanities).

Instruments

SIBID (Situational Body Dissatisfaction) and BIQLI (The Body Image Quality of Life Inventory) inventories developed by T.Cash [Cash, Pruzinsky, 1990; Cash, Melnyk, Hrabosky, 2004] and adapted by L.T.Baranskaya, A.E.Tkachenko and S.S.Tataurova were used for Russian sample population in 2008. SIBID inventory was created in 1994 to assess body dissatisfaction in certain situations (for example, when one has to weigh, look at the mirror, in communication with physically attractive people, etc). It is considered that different life situations cause different emotions associated with proper body that, finally, form general body image. BIQLI inventory was developed in 2002 to reveal subjective appraisal of positive or negative body image on the quality of life. The inventory makes it possible to measure the body image perceived by an individual in various spheres of life (for example, self-sentiment, social performance, physical activity, etc.) and influence of body image on 19 different life spheres.

A modified method of S.Bem’s Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) was used to evaluate gender characteristics. The respondents were given a list of qualities from this method and they were to evaluate 1) intensity of proper quality; 2) desirability of each quality; 3) intensity of each quality in a typical female and 5) intensity of each quality in a typical male. A 5-point scale was used for evaluation.

This modification made it possible to obtain the following factors, in particular:
1) Level of self-esteem as correlation of Self-image evaluation and quality desirability evaluation;
2) Level of identification with female gender as Self-image and typical female image correlation;
3) Level of identification with male gender as Self-image and typical male image correlation;
4) Objective femininity level having calculated mean Self-image evaluation under the scales that were determined by S. Bem as feminine;
5) Objective masculinity level having calculated mean Self-image evaluation under the scales that were determined by S. Bem as masculine.
6) Desirable level of femininity as mean desirability evaluation under the qualities that were determined by S. Bem as feminine;
7) Desirable level of masculinity as mean desirability evaluation under the qualities that were determined by S. Bem as masculine;
8) Desirable level of similarity to a typical female as typical female image correlation and evaluation of quality desirability;
9) Desirable level of similarity to a typical male as typical male image correlation and evaluation of quality desirability.

Biological sex indices were not taken into account for purposes of this research.

Results

Average indicators BIQLI in young females M = 1,33, SD = 0,78, in young males M = 1,11, SD = 0,70, with their distribution corresponding to the normal one. For females standard BIQLI value given by T. Cash is equal to M=1, SD = 1,09, for males – M = 1,24, SD = 0,99. In young females the level of body influence on the quality of life is higher than in young males (t = 2,12, р = 0,035).

In young females average indicators SIBID is equal to M=1,129, SD = 0,62, the normal one being M = 1,8, SD = 0,90. In young males M = 0,769, SD = 0,579, the normal one being M = 1,17, SD = 0,76.

Their distribution corresponding to the normal one. Situational body image dissatisfaction in young females is much higher than in young males (t = 6,311, р = 0,000).

Gender identity was determined on the grounds of Self-image similarity (correlation) with typical male and female images. The group as a whole demonstrated average similarity to a typical woman equal to 0,103, SD = 0,265. Average similarity to a typical woman was equal to 0,189, SD = 0,278.

Young females demonstrate much greater similarity to typical females (t = 3,88, р = 0,000), than with typical men, M being = 0,234, SD = 0,265 for similarity to a female and M = 0,082, SD 0,243 for similarity to a male. Young males demonstrate much higher similarity to typical males than with typical females (t = 8,829, р = 0,000), M = 0,280, SD = 0,275 for similarity to males and M= –0,008, SD = 0,218 for similarity to females. Though in the whole of sampled population similarity to male gender group was much higher than to the female one (t = –2,900, р = 0,004).

Attitude to proper gender group differs in young males and females. Attitude to gender groups was determined on the basis of quality desirability evaluation correlation with typical male and female image evaluation. In the whole of sampled population average desirability of typical female features is equal to 0,172, SD = 0,255, of typical male –0,215, SD = 0,21. Desirability of qualities assigned to males is much higher than that of the qualities assigned to females (t = 9,091, р = 0,000). For females desirability of typical female qualities does not differ dramatically from a typical male (t = –1,285, р = 0,20) being M = 0,173, SD = 0,256 for female image and M = 0,215, SD = 0,210 for male image. Males are assigned a bit more desirable qualities but their difference is not meaningful. Attractiveness of male features for young males is much higher than that of female ones (t = 11,570, р = 0,000), M = –0,315, SD = 0,266 for male image and M = –0,03, SD = 0,241 for female image.

Young females mention proper similarity to their gender group and do not consider typical female image more attractive to them than similar male image.

Femininity and masculinity intensity was determined as mean evaluation according to scales marked by S. Bem as feminine as masculine. In young females group average femininity was M = 3,469, SD = 0,483, masculinity M = 3,29, SD = 0,542. Femininity level is much higher than masculinity (t = 2,469, р = 0,015).

In the group of young males average femininity is equal to 3,15, SD = 0,446, masculinity 3,469, SD = 0,598. Masculinity level in young males is much higher than femininity level (t = 4,869, р = 0,000). In the whole of sampled population difference in intensity of feminine and masculine quality is negligible (t = 1,732, р = 0,084).

Nevertheless masculine qualities as a whole are evaluated as more desirable than feminine (t = 13,144, р = 0,000). For young females desirability of masculine qualities is much higher that desirability of feminine qualities (t = 5,038, р = 0,000), for young males masculine qualities are also more desirable than feminine qualities (t = 14,045, р = 0,000). Young females mention greater similarity to females and greater feminine intensity, consider masculinity more desirable than femininity and similarity to males as desirable as similarity to females.

In all cases distribution of indices corresponds to the normal value.

The level of self-esteem was determined as Self-esteem correlation level with desirability evaluations of each of 60 qualities. Values distribution as a whole in the group and in sub-groups of young males and females does not correspond to the normal one, M = 0,489, SD = 0,225. The level of self-esteem in young females was not significantly lower than the level of self-esteem in young males (U = 109, р = 0,144).

To analyze the contribution of gender characteristics into intensity of body attitude a stepwise multiple regression was used, the predictors being self-evaluation indices and gender characteristics: passport sex, typical male and female image similarity, masculinity and femininity.

The results demonstrated that body influence on the quality of life (BIQLI) may be predicted knowing the masculinity (β = 0,262, t = 3,587, р = 0,000) and self-esteem levels (β = 0,199, t = 2,860, р = 0,004), R2 = 0,160. Sex indices do not contribute greatly into indicator BIQLI. Indicators BIQLI is associated with the masculinity and is associated with self-esteem levels regardless the passport sex of subjects. In young males indicators BIQLI is associated only with masculinity (β = 0,247, t = 2,511, р = 0,003), R2 = 0,250 while in young females it contributes only to self-esteem (β = 2,511, t = 2,511, р = 0,013), R2 = 0,07. The higher masculinity in young males, the higher is the evaluation of body influence on the quality of life. The higher self-esteem in young females, the higher is body influence.

Indicators body satisfaction (SIBID) is predicted (R2 = 0,312) on the self-esteem basis (β = –0,402, t = –7,050, р = 0,000) – people with low self-esteem demonstrate greater body dissatisfaction; and sex of the subjects (β = –0,368, t = –6,464, р = 0,000) – young females have higher incidence of body dissatisfaction. Indicators SIBID is associated with gender characteristics only if passport sex is taken into account.

In young males indicators SIBID is inversely related only to self-esteem (β = –0,522, t = –6,521, р = 0,000), R2 = 0,267.

In young females indicators SIBID is also inversely related only to self-esteem (β = –0,345, t = –3,63, р = 0,000), R2 = 0,11, with a bit lower prediction probability level than in young males.

To analyze particularities of body attitude of people with different genders the population was divided into sub-groups with femininity preponderance over masculinity and masculinity preponderance over femininity.

Regression analysis demonstrated that in subjects with femininity preponderance over masculinity (19 young males and 38 young females) indicators BIQLI level is predicted only by femininity level (β = 0,433, t = 3,773, р = 0,000), R2 = 0,296. Passport sex indices are mot significant. The higher femininity, the higher is the body impact on the quality of life in young males and females. Indicators SIBID is related to self-esteem (β = –0,502, t = –4,204, р = 0,000) and sex (β = –0,322, t = –2,504, р = 0,015), R2 = 0,272. The higher self-esteem, the lower is body dissatisfaction. Body dissatisfaction is lower in young males than in young females.

In subjects with masculinity preponderance over femininity (15 young females, 58 young males) indicators BIQLI indices are related only to masculine qualities (β = 0,522, t = 5,153, р = 0,000), R2 = 0,261. The higher masculinity, the higher is body influence on the quality of life. Indicators SIBID indices – with self-esteem (β = –0,434, t = –4,253, р = 0,099) and passport sex (β = –0,258, t = –2,525, р = 0,014), R2 = 0,28. The higher self-esteem, the lower is body dissatisfaction. Body dissatisfaction is lower in young males than in young females.

In subjects with polar gender indicators BIQLI level is directly related to femininity in feminine and masculinity in masculine subjects. Indicators SIBID is not associated with gender characteristics.

This fact lets us note that indicators BIQLI is directly related to femininity and masculinity in persons representing average gender types. In young males indicators BIQLI is related to masculinity and in young females it is not related to femininity.

To analyze the contribution of gender characteristics into intensity of body attitude a stepwise multiple regression was used, the predictors being: femininity, masculinity, desirability of femininity and masculinity, femininity image of a typical female, femininity of a typical male, masculinity of a typical female, masculinity of a typical male, evaluation of similarity to typical male and typical female, desirability of similarity to typical male and typical female, masculine and feminine qualities of a typical female, masculine and feminine qualities of a typical male, level of similarity to typical male and typical female images.

The regression demonstrated that in young males self-esteem may be predicted by the level of similarity to a typical male image (β = 0,373, t = 4,151, р = 0,000) and intensity of masculinity qualities (β = 0,342, t = 3,804, р = 0,000), R2 = 0,394. The more young males feel similar to other males, the higher their self-esteem.

In young females self-esteem is predicted by desirability of masculine qualities (β = –0,457, t = –4,398 , р = 0,000), similarity to typical male mage (β = 0,354, t = 3,347, р = 0,001), masculine qualities of a typical male (β = –0,240, t = –2,650, р = 0,010) and masculinity (β = 0,231, t = 2,067, р = 0,042), R2 = 0,285. Self-esteem in young females is higher the higher her similarity to typical male image and intensity of masculine qualities are, but at the same time it is higher the less desirable she considers masculine qualities and the less masculine she perceives typical males. The lower self-esteem in young females, the more desirable they consider masculine features and higher the incidence of cases when they attribute such feature to a typical male

The fraction of explained regression is low in all cases because different aspects of body attitude and self-esteem may be related to multiple factors not taken into account in this research.

Discussion

The hypothesis that gender identity is directly related to body influence evaluation on the quality of life was not supported. Similarity to typical male and female does not contribute significantly into body attitude neither in young males nor in young females. Acknowledgement of similarity to proper gender group is not directly related to greater orientation towards social demands to body, and body characteristics are not recognized as important for gender identity.

The hypothesis of inverse relationship of femininity and direct relation of masculinity with indicators BIQLI was partially supported.

Masculinity is directly related to indicators BIQLI in the whole of sampled population of young males. This may be attributed to the fact that intensity of instrumental characteristics contributes to positive evaluation of body influence on different spheres of life and image satisfaction. Self-confidence, ambition and motivation presuppose recognition of common self value, including the value of proper body and lower reliance on appraisal of the others, including appraisal of appearance.

Femininity as a whole of sampled population and in the group of young females with body evaluation influence on the quality of life was not related. In young females the indicators BIQLI level may be predicted only by self-esteem.

In males “masculinity” is closely related to physical signs (strength, height, penis dimensions, etc), this relation is not to be questioned and does not bear internal contradictions. In young males body is directly associated with gender and in young females this connection is mediated by self-esteem. In young females body is not yet gender without general feeling of their value.

Analysis of body attitude in subjects that differ by femininity-masculinity correlation demonstrated that indicators BIQLI is related to gender typization – given their highly schematic character, gender differences are evaluated as extremely important and impact body image, in particular, that shall also correspond to traditional manliness and femininity standards. Gender typical subjects view body as gender identity attribute or attention to proper body enhances gender schematic character. If one gender aspect prevails, the higher is body image influence on all aspects of life. The existing data does not let consider causal relationships of these factors, we can only mention their coherence at this stage. Thus, the hypothesis testifying to direct femininity relation to body significance was confirmed only in feminine young females and males. In other cases there is no such relation.

Body satisfaction is directly related to self-esteem in young males and females. Analysis of individual gender characteristics contribution to self-esteem demonstrated that in young males self-esteem is associated with similarity to proper gender and with masculinity, and in young females – with similarity to a typical man and undesirability of masculinity. Attitude to feminine qualities is not associated with self-esteem.

Young females with high self-esteem mention their greater similarity to men, are mostly satisfied with their body and presume that body influences their life in a positive way. Young females with low self-esteem think they are not similar to typical males yet they consider masculine qualities desirable.

We can talk about absence of accepted gender model desirable for young females. There is no definite typical female image in the modern culture that would not bear internal contradictions and would be assessed as attractive for most girls and women. As a result self-esteem of young females is built on male images and masculine qualities which tend to be more desirable.

Self-esteem in young males is free from contradictions related to gender characteristics– it is directly related to assessment of their similarity to typical male image and self description as a person with masculine qualities.

The findings enable us to regard body dissatisfaction in young females as a result of contradictory approach to gender characteristics of proper sex. Young females from the sampled population were more confident in positive body influence on the quality of life than young males but at the same time they suffer more situational body dissatisfaction. This is in line with established data that females pay more attention to their appearance and tend to be more anxious about heir body. But at the same time indicators BIQLI level in young females is associated only with their self-esteem and not associated with gender characteristics. One may believe that no indicators BIQLI relation to femininity is determined by contradictory female approach to masculine qualities. They mention having such qualities but at the same time consider masculine qualities more desirable than feminine qualities.

Young males and females mention higher similarity with the gender group corresponding to their passport sex than with the other gender group and describe themselves as persons with traditional gender features.

At the same time both young males and young females wish to possess masculine (instrumental) qualities more than feminine (emotional and communicative). Greater attractiveness of masculinity may be explained by greater value of instrumentality in modern culture that presupposes orientation towards intellectual activity, analytical skills, individualism, self-confidence, competitiveness, etc.

A set of qualities considered feminine or masculine reflect gender identity view of the 1970s which seem to be changing nowadays. The change is uneven, gender attitudes of modern young females differ greater from the traditional ones than those of young males.

Femininity and masculinity concepts in modern national culture have to be updated.

The finding may be considered as indirectly supporting the statement of cultural stereotypes’ influence on the female body attitude. Notwithstanding all efforts taken by feminists modern culture remains largely male-oriented which is demonstrated in greater demands on female body than on the male one. “American men tend to value their body and have a positive body attitude while American women tend to have an ambivalent body approach that is not to accept it”. [Bem, 2004, p. 222]. The findings show that such words of Bem are valid for Russia, too. Gender asymmetry associated with body make female follow contradictory and unrealistic requirements– try to lose weight, be slimmer, try to look like a boy, but yet try to remain feminine – different from men. Such requirements cannot be fulfilled simultaneously which provokes constant body dissatisfaction in females. “On the one hand, gender polarization lens makes women underline their natural sex differences not to look exactly like men. On the other hand, the male-orientation lens makes them minimize their sex differences… not to look too feminine” [Bem, 2004, p. 223]. In compliance with the research conducted by T.A.Rebeko (2010) body representation of young females is vague and real and ideal body images actualize different body parameters evaluation which seems to be associated with general contradictory character of cultural demands to female body and greater dependence on cultural standards at young age.

Still our findings demonstrate that these requirements are mediated by self-esteem level – young females having a high self-esteem are less prone to demands of external factors and criteria and have greater body acceptance.

The findings require further validation on a larger sampling population taking into consideration more data - profession, ethnicity, satisfaction with relationships with the opposite sex, physique and other characteristics that could be associated with body attitude.

Conclusions

Evaluation of body influence on the quality of life and body satisfaction are not directly related to gender identity.

Body satisfaction is associated only with self-esteem, and self-esteem in young males and females is associated with their similarity to male gender groups.

In cases of gender typization evaluation of body influence on the quality of life is determined only by gender characteristics intensity (femininity in feminine ones and masculinity in masculine ones).

In young males with no gender scheme this index is associated with masculinity. In young females with no gender scheme this index is associated with self-esteem.

Text translated by Aleksey Posoltsev

References
Cyrillic letters are transliterated according to BSI standards.

Abell, S. C., & Richards, M.H. (1996). The relationship between body shape satisfaction and self-esteem:  An Investigation of gender and class differences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 25, 691-703

Baranskaya, L. T., Tkachenko, A. E., & Tataurova, S.S. (2008). Adaptatsiya metodiki issledovaniya obraza tela v klinicheskoi psikhologii // Obrazovanie i nauka. Izvestiya UrO RAO 3, 63-69. [in Russian]

Baranskaya, L.T. (2009). Sotsiokul'turnye standarty obraza tela kak faktory riska lichnostnykh rasstroistv // Aktual'nye problemy psikhologii aktivnosti lichnosti. Krasnodar: Izd-vo Kub. gos. un-ta, 13-17. [in Russian]

Barker, E. T., & Galambos, N. L. (2003). Body dissatisfaction of adolescent girls and boys: risk and resource factors. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 23, 141-165.

Bem, S. (2004). Linzy gendera. Transformatsiya vzglyadov na problemu neravenstva polov. ROSSPEN 2004. [in Russian]

Bem, S.L. (1982). Gender Schema Theory and Self-Schema Theory Compared: A Comment on Markus, Crane, Bernstein, and Siladi's "Self-Schemas and Gender". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 1192-1194.

Bendas T.V. (2000). Gendernye issledovaniya liderstva // Voprosy psikhologii, 1, 87-95. [in Russian]

Bern, Sh. (2001). Gendernaya psikhologiya. SPb.: Praim-Evroznak, 2001. [in Russian]

Brown, T. A., Cash, T. F., & Mikulka, P. J. (1990). Attitudinal body-image assessment: Factor analysis of the body–self relations questionnaire. Psychological Assessment, 55, 135–144.

Cafri, G., Thompson, J. K., Ricciardelli, L., McCabe, M.,Smolak, L., & Yesalis, C. (2005). Pursuit of the muscular ideal: Physical and psychological consequences and putative risk factors. Clinical Psychology Review, 25, 215–239.

Cash, T. F., & Pruzinsky, T. (Eds). (1990). Body images: Development, deviance and change, New York: Guilford Press.

Cash,T. F., Melnyk, S. E., & Hrabosky, J. I. (2004). The assessment of body-image investment: An extensive revision of the Appearance Schemas Inventory. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 35, 305–316.

Cherkashina, A. G. (2010). Samootnoshenie v strukture telesnogo samovospriyatiya studentok vuza. Izvestiya Samarskogo nauchnogo tsentra Rossiiskoi akademii nauk, 5, 168–178. [in Russian]

Cohane, G. H, & Pope, H. G. (2001). Body image in boys: a review of the literature. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 4, 373–379.

Connors, J., & Casey, P. (2006). 'Sex, body-esteem and self-esteem, Psychological Reports, 98, 699–704.

Crocker, J., & Major, B. (1989). Social stigma and self-esteem: the self-protective properties of stigma. Psychological review, 96, 608-630

Cusumano, D. L., & Thompson, J. K. (2001). Media influence and body image in 8-11-year-old boys and girls: A preliminary report on the Multidimensional Media Influence Scale. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 29, 37–44.

Dionne, M., Davis , C., Fox, J., & Gurevich, M. (1995). Feminist ideology as a predictor of body dissatisfaction in women. Sex Roles, 33, 277–287

Dohnt, H., & Tiggemann, M. (2006). The Contribution of Peer and Media Influences to the Development of Body Satisfaction and Self-Esteem in Young Girls: A Prospective Study Developmental Psychology. 5, 929–936.

Durkin, S.J., & Paxton, S.J. (2002). Predictors of vulnerability to reduced body image satisfaction and psychological wellbeing in response to exposure to idealized female media images in adolescent girls. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 53, 995–1005.

Fallon, A. E., & Rozin, P. (1985). Sex differences in perceptions of desirable body shape. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94, 102–105.

Featherstone, M. (2010). Body, Image and Affect in Consumer Culture. Body & Society, 1, 193–221.

Featherstone, M. (1999). Introduction, Special Issue on Body Modification, Body & Society, 2–3, 1–13.

Feingold, A., & Mazzella, R. (1998). Gender differences in body image are increasing. Psychological Science, 9, 190–195.

Field, A. E., Colditz, G. A., & Peterson, K. E. (1997). Racial/ethnic and gender differences in concern with weight and in bulimic behaviors among adolescents. Obesity Research, 5, 447–454.

Garner, D. M. (1997). The 1997 body image survey results. Psychology Today, 30, 30–44.

Gillen, M. M., & Lefkowitz, E. S. (2006). Gender role development and body image among male and female first year college students. Sex Roles, 1–2, 25–37.

Gimlin, D. (2007). Accounting for cosmetic surgery in the USA and Great Britain: A cross-cultural analysis of women's narratives // Body and Society. 2007. Vol. 13(1). P. 41–60.

Grogan, S. (1999). Body image: Understanding body dissatisfaction in men, women and children. London:Routledge.

Hargreaves, D. A., & Tiggemann, M. (2006). Body images for girls: A qualitative study of boys’ body image. Journal of Health Psychology, 11, 567–576.

Henderson-King, E., & Henderson-King, D. (1997). Media effects on women`s body esteem: social and individual difference factors. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 5, 399–417.

Jones, D. C., Vigfusdottir, T. H., & Lee Y. (2004). Body image and the appearance culture among adolescent girls and boys: An examination of friend conversations, peer criticism, appearance magazines, and the internalization of appearance ideals. Journal of Adolescent Research, 19, 323–339.

Jones, D. C. (2004). Body image among adolescent girls and boys: A longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 5, 823–835.

Kletsina, I. S. (1998). Gendernaya sotsializatsiya: uchebnoe posobie. SPb.: Izd-vo RGPU im. A.I.Gertsena. [in Russian]

Lancelot, C., & Kaslow, N. J. (1998). Sex role orientation and disordered eating in women: A review The Journal of Social Psychology, 6 , 744 – 752.

Levine, M. P., Smolak, L., & Hayden, H. (1994). The relation of sociocultural factors to eating attitudes and behaviors among middle school girls. Journal of Early Adolescence, 14, 471–490.

McCabe, M. P., & Ricciardelli, L. (2003). A Sociocultural influences on body image and body changes among adolescent boys and girls. Journal of Social Psychology, 1, 5–26.

McCabe, M. P., & Ricciardelli, L. A. (2004). Body image dissatisfaction among males across the lifespan: A review of past literature. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 6, 675–685.

Morrison, T. G., Morrison, M. A., Hopkins, C., & Rowan, E. T. (2004). Muscle mania: Development of a new scale examining the drive for muscularity in Canadian males. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 5, 30–39.

Muth, J. L., & Cash,T. F. (1997). Body-image attitudes: What difference does gender make? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27, 1438–1452.

Pasha, G., & Golshekoh F. (2009). Relationship between socio cultural attitudes, appearance and body dissatisfaction among students of Islamic Azad University. Journal of Applied Sciences, 9, 1726–1732.

Paxton, S., & Sculthorpe, A. (1991). Disordered eating and sex role characteristics in young women: Implications for sociocultural theories of disturbed eating. Sex Roles, 9–10, 587–598.

Presnell, K., Bearman, S. K., & Stice, E. (2004). Risk factors for body dissatisfaction in adolescent boys and girls: A prospective study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 36, 389–40.

Rebeko, T. A. (2010). Gendernaya identichnost' i reprezentatsiya tela u zhenshchin // Psikhologicheskii zhurnal, 1, 15 – 31. [in Russian]

Robinson, J. P, Shaver, P. R, & Wrightsman, L.S. (1991). Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes. San Diego: Academic Pr.

Schooler, D., & Ward, L. M. (2006). Average Joes: Men’s relationships with media, real bodies, and sexuality. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 7, 27–41.

Sokolova, E.T. (1989). Samosoznanie i samootsenka pri anomaliyakh lichnosti. M.: Izd-vo Mosk. un-ta, [in Russian]

Thomas, K., Ricciardelli, L. A., & Williams, R. J. (2000). Gender traits and self-concept as indicators of problem eating and body dissatisfaction among children. Sex Roles, 43, 441–458.

Unger, R. K. (1979). Toward a redefinition of sex and gender. American Psychologist, 34, 1085–1094.

Vasil'eva, T.N. (2005). Dinamika psikhicheskikh sostoyanii i samootsenki podrostkov v protsesse korrektsii problemnoi vneshnosti // Sbornik "Psikhologiya telesnosti: teoreticheskie i prakticheskie issledovaniya". Penza: Izd-vo Penz. Gos. un –ta. [in Russian]

Williams, J.E., & Best, D.L. (1986). Sex stereotypes and intergroup relations. In S. Worchel & W.G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations, 244–259.Chicago: Nelson-Hall.

Woodie, D. S., & Fromuth, M. E. (2009). The relationship of hypercompetitiveness and gender roles with body dysmorphic disorder symptoms in a nonclinical sample. Body Image. 4, 318–321.

Received 14 April 2011. Date of publication: 18 August 2011.

About author

Ulybina Elena V. Ph.D., Professor, L.S.Vygotsky Psychology Institute, Russian State University for the Humanities, Miusskaya pl., 6, 125993 Moscow, Russia.
E-mail: Этот адрес электронной почты защищен от спам-ботов. У вас должен быть включен JavaScript для просмотра.

Suggested citation

APA Style
Ulybina, E. V. (2011). The relationship between body image and gender characteristics in youth. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 4(18). Retrieved from http://psystudy.ru. 0421100116/0038. [in Russian, abstr. in English].

Russian State Standard GOST P 7.0.5-2008
Ulybina E.V. The relationship between body image and gender characteristics in youth [Electronic resource] // Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya. 2011. N 4(18). URL: http://psystudy.ru (date of access: dd.mm.yyyy). 0421100116/0038. [in Russian, abstr. in English]

Back to top >>

Related Articles