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Percept Mot Skills. 1996 Oct;83(2):569-70.

Perception of body shape by underweight average, and overweight men and women.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764-1898, USA.


Using figure drawings, perception of body shape was evaluated by underweight, average, and overweight men and women. Body-shape dissatisfaction was greatest for 60 overweight women, and about the same in 151 average weight women as it was for 102 overweight men. Average weight men (n = 107) and underweight women (n = 31) were fairly satisfied with their current shapes. Both men and women had distorted views of the shape the opposite sex found most attractive. Women guessed that men would prefer a thinner shape than they actually did, and men guessed that women would prefer a larger shape than they actually did. The distortion was larger for men as their own size increased but not for women.

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