, Volume 69, Issue 1-2, pp 16-28
Date: 15 May 2013

Is Weighing a “Woman’s Thing?” Associations Among Gender, Gender Role Orientation, and Self-Weighing Behavior

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Abstract

The behavior of self-weighing has received increased attention for its potential benefits in aiding weight management efforts in certain populations. However, little is known about the factors influencing an individual’s choice to self-weigh, such as gender and gender role identification. Given the strong associations between body surveillance and the female experience, it was hypothesized that women, and individuals identifying more strongly with feminine traits, would self-weigh more frequently. To test this hypothesis, a cross-sectional study was conducted with undergraduate students (n = 252) recruited from a large, urban, Midwestern university in the U.S. Participants completed the Short Bem Sex-Role Inventory and a questionnaire about their self-weighing behavior. Multinomial logistic and bivariate logistic regression procedures were used to examine associations between gender, gender role orientation (Femininity, Masculinity), and self-weighing behavior while adjusting for body weight and weight management approach. Results did not support the hypotheses; gender and gender role orientation, and the interaction between the two, were not significant predictors of how often individuals engaged in self-weighing behavior. Findings from this study suggest that gender is not associated with self-weighing frequency. However, additional work is necessary to explore motivations underlying self-weighing behavior, those motivations’ relationship to gender, and the impact of frequent weighing on body image and weight control.