Sex Roles

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 25–37

Gender Role Development and Body Image among Male and Female First Year College Students


DOI: 10.1007/s11199-006-9057-4

Cite this article as:
Gillen, M.M. & Lefkowitz, E.S. Sex Roles (2006) 55: 25. doi:10.1007/s11199-006-9057-4


In the current study we examined associations between gender role development and body image. Male and female first-semester college students (N = 434) who identified as African American, Latino/a American, and European American completed surveys about gendered personality traits (instrumentality/expressivity), gender role attitudes, and aspects of body image (e.g., satisfaction, orientation). Gendered traits were more frequently associated with body image than were gender role attitudes. In particular, individuals who were more instrumental and less inauthentic in their relationships felt more positive about their bodies. Gender role attitudes were also associated with body image, but sometimes in an unexpected direction. These findings highlight the importance of examining multiple components of gender role development and body image in both men and women.


Body imageGender rolesCollege students

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family Studies, S-110 Henderson BuildingThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA