OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Gender-Based Body Image Perception among College Students


Aleka Arredondo


ABSTRACT Objective: This study sought to examining the gender-based body image perceptions among college students. Methods: A qualitative approach was used to obtain the highest quality rich data of body image due to the multifactorial nature of body image perceptions and expectations among college students. This study examined a total of 145 student participants responses of which 94 were self-identified females and 51 were self-identified males, the data was then stratified. Results: The results reveal that males ideal body perception for a woman is different than females’ expectations for women. For example, female perceptions of ideal body image were found to be specific identified features such as lips, nose, eyebrows; whereas the male perception of ideal body image for women is considered to be a small body type. Similarly, there is also variation of ideal body image for men. Although both males and females considered fit body types to be the most ideal body image for men, females also reported personal hygiene as being an important factor furthermore the male’s perception focused more on body types rather than other factors such as hygiene. Moreover, there was considerably more data on ideal body image for women than for men. Overall there were more key terms to describe body image expectations for women than for men. Conclusion: Our results show unique differences in how males and females perceive an ideal body for a man and woman, demonstrating substantial differences. These results can aid public health professionals in creating targeted body positivity initiatives.

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