The development of gender differences in body‐size dissatisfaction

Marika Tiggemann, Barbara Pennington

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    113 Citations (Scopus)


    This study aimed to replicate with an Australian sample Fallon and Rozin's (1985) finding of gender differences in body dissatisfaction, and to further investigate the developmental origins of such dissatisfaction. There were three age groups of subjects: adult undergraduates, adolescents aged 15–16 years, and children aged 9–10 years. All subjects were presented with a set of nine age‐relevant silhouette drawings ranging from very thin to very heavy. Adult women rated their current figure as significantly larger than their ideal and attractive figure, whereas there were no differences in rating for men. In contrast to the finding of Cohn et al., (1987), this pattern was replicated in the adolescent group, such that girls, but not boys, showed substantial body dissatisfaction. In the youngest age group, all the children rated their current figures as larger than their ideal. It was concluded that both adolescent and adult women expressed body dissatisfaction and were subjected to pressures toward thinness not suffered by their male counterparts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)306-313
    Number of pages8
    JournalAustralian Psychologist
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1990


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