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Gender and Body Image - Case Study Example

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The paper "Gender and Body Image" discusses that that women tend to be more concerned with their body image than men. They also have more complicated motivations for being so and tend to be more affected by a negative body image. The desire to be thinner is stronger in women…
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Gender and Body Image
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Download file to see previous pages Those body parts with which each gender was most dissatisfied were consistent with the body parts emphasized through ideal images.
It has long been recognized that our body images interact with the world and change in response especially in terms of a culturally defined set of social relations. (Sault, p. 18) Here, it is stressed that every action upon our bodies is a symbolic act that represents our social relationships which in turn are reciprocally related and grow together, with a change in one reflected by a change in the other. The body image system is dynamic, interactive, and so closely integrated that neither body image nor social relations have priority or precedence over the other. (Sault, p. 18)

The most important indication of beauty for women in Western societies is the prevailing ideal of thinness and as a result, many women desire unrealistically thin body shape. This preoccupation with thinness is a recent development as the perception of women’s body shapes has changed significantly over the past decades. In the early 1940s, it was found that people with ectomorphic bodies were perceived by others as nervous, submissive and socially withdrawn. By the late 1980s, this perception had changed and thin people were considered to be the most sexually appealing [because it is] the female body depicted in the media. (Prevos 2005) Also, previous studies pinpoint gender as one determining factor in how body image is perceived among people. For instance, the Prevos (2005) study confirmed the notion that body dissatisfaction for females is higher than for men.
Studying gender and body image is significant particularly in the area of negative perception. A negative body image, for instance, could lead to excessive dieting and exercise that is harmful to an individual’s health. What s worse, people could, in fact, develop health problems such as anorexia because of this. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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