Gender attitudes, feminist identity, and body images among college women

Thomas F. Cash, Julie R. Ancis, Melissa D. Strachan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Cultural forces influence body-image development in gender-contingent ways, such that women in our society possess more dysfunctional body-image attitudes than men do. However, few studies have examined how women's body-image experiences relate to their own gender attitudes and ideologies. This investigation of 122 college women assessed multiple parameters of body image (i.e., evaluation, investment, and affect) and different facets of gender attitudes and feminist identity development. Results revealed minimal relationships between body-image attitudes and either feminist identity or adherence to traditional gender beliefs at individual/stereotypic or societal levels. On the other hand, traditional gender attitudes at the level of male-female social interactions were associated with stronger and more dysfunctional investments in cultural and personal appearance standards. The scientific, social, and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-447
Number of pages15
JournalSex Roles
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Apr 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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