Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women's body talk: Perception stronger than reality?

Date:
November 5, 2012
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
How women think their friends feel about their bodies influences their own body concerns, according to a new study. Their work examines the role of friends in young women's body concerns.

How women think their friends feel about their bodies influences their own body concerns, according to a new study by Dr. Louise Wasylkiw and Molly Williamson from Mount Alison University in Canada. Their work, which examines the role of friends in young women's body concerns, is published online in Springer's journal Sex Roles.

Research shows that friends influence how girls and women view and judge their own body weight, shape and size. What Wasylkiw and Williamson's work sheds light on, is how much of a young woman's body concerns are shaped by her perceptions of peers' concerns with their own body versus her peers' actual body concerns.

The researchers analysed data for 75 pairs of female friends from a small undergraduate university in Eastern Canada. They asked the women how often they talked to their friend about four different weight issues: weight loss, exercise, appearance and food/eating. They also assessed the women's body image and whether they felt pressure from their friends on weight issues.

They found that the more women felt under pressure to be thin, the more likely they were to have body image concerns, irrespective of their actual weight and shape. Interestingly, body talk between friends that focussed on exercise was related to lower body dissatisfaction.

Women perceived their friends' body checking behaviors to be similar to their own. In addition, women's body concerns were mirrored by their perceptions of what their friends' body image concerns were, suggesting that perceptions of friends', and not friends' actual thoughts, predicted their own body concerns.

The authors conclude: "Our research demonstrates that friends influence each other through at least three processes: perceived pressure to be thin; body-related talk; and perceptions. Although these perceptions are somewhat grounded in reality i.e. close to the truth, they are more influential than reality."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wasylkiw L & Williamson M. Actual reports and perceptions of body image concerns of young women and their friends. Sex Roles, 2012 DOI: 10.1007/s11199-012-0227-2

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Women's body talk: Perception stronger than reality?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105092615.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2012, November 5). Women's body talk: Perception stronger than reality?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105092615.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Women's body talk: Perception stronger than reality?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105092615.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins