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Eat Behav. 2004 Jul;5(3):191-8.

Ethnic differences in preferences for female weight and waist-to-hip ratio: a comparison of African-American and White American college and community samples.

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Department of Psychology, American University, 321 Asbury Building, Washington, DC 20016-8062, USA.


This study examined both ethnic differences and differences between college and community samples in male preferences for ideal body size and shape in women. As expected, it was found that African-American men were more likely to choose heavier figures as ideal than White American men did. Contrary to expectations, there were no differences in chosen ideal weight between college and community subsamples. As expected, both ethnic groups chose figures with a low waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), but African-American men were more likely to choose a very low WHR as ideal. The findings replicate and extend research showing weight to be a more important cue than WHR in the mate-selection process and support the theory that African-American men's preferences may serve as a protective factor against eating and body image pathology in African-American women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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