Sex Roles

, Volume 39, Issue 1–2, pp 113–123

Gender Differences in Undergraduates' Body Esteem: The Mediating Effect of Objectified Body Consciousness and Actual/Ideal Weight Discrepancy

  • Nita Mary McKinley


Three hundred twenty-seven undergraduatemostlyEuropean American women and men were surveyed totest whether feminist theoryabout how women come to viewtheir bodies as objects to be watched (Objectified Body Consciousness or OBC) can be useful inexplaining gender differences in body esteem. The OBCscales (McKinley & Hyde, 1996) were demonstrated tobe distinct dimensions with acceptable reliabilities for men. Relationships between bodysurveillance, body shame, and body esteem were strongerfor women than for men. Women had higher surveillance,body shame, and actual/ideal weight discrepancy, andlower body esteem than did men. Multiple regressionanalysis found that gender differences in body esteemwere no longer significant when OBC was entered into theequation, supporting feminist theory about women's body experience.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nita Mary McKinley

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