Sex Roles

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 31–47

The consequences of being overweight: A controlled study of gender differences

  • Jayne Stake
  • Monica L. Lauer

DOI: 10.1007/BF00287898

Cite this article as:
Stake, J. & Lauer, M.L. Sex Roles (1987) 17: 31. doi:10.1007/BF00287898


The consequences of body weight were explored in a sample of 44 women and 40 men who were matched for body size on the basis of judges' ratings and height-weight proportions. Results indicated that the condition of being overweight had a more negative effect on women than on men: Average-weight subjects showed a preference for thin women but not for thin men; the condition of being overweight negatively affected the quantity and quality of women's relationships with men, but had little effect on men's relationships with women; overweight negatively affected the self-attitudes of all subjects, but particularly those of women. Furthermore, average-weight and, particularly, overweight women showed more concern regarding their body size than either average or overweight men. These findings were interpreted in terms of prevailing sex role pressures and expectations.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jayne Stake
    • 1
  • Monica L. Lauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Missouri—St. LouisSt. Louis

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