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Sociocultural expectations of attractiveness for males

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Abstract

Sociocultural expectations of attractiveness for women have been studied extensively, but little research has focused on this topic with males. Using the two most popular men's fashion magazines (GQand Esquire), this study examined article and advertisement content as well as male models' body sizes to determine the extent to which men have received messages from the media on how to behave (e.g., diet, exercise) and look over a 32 year period (i.e., 1960–1992). Linear trend analyses revealed that the number of messages concerning physical fitness and health have increased as has the general popularity of health and fitness activities. Messages concerning weight and beauty, however, have declined since the late 1970s. In spite of these changes, measures of male models' body sizes have not changed significantly since the 1960s. These findings are discussed in the context of the sociocultural approach to eating disorders and recommendations for future research are provided.

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Petrie, T.A., Austin, L.J., Crowley, B.J. et al. Sociocultural expectations of attractiveness for males. Sex Roles 35, 581–602 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01548254

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