The Body-as-Object Versus the Body-as-Process: Gender Differences and Gender Considerations
The present study analyzed the influence that gender and gender concepts have on predominantly white young adults' attitudes toward their body parts (body-as-object) and body functions (body-as-process). Results indicated that, regardless of gender, participants held more positive attitudes toward their body functions than toward body parts. Masculinity was positively related to body-as-object attitudes, yet this relationship was true only for women. As expected, femininity had exactly the opposite effect on women's body-as-object attitudes. Unexpectedly, femininity was found to be positively related to men's body-as-object attitudes. Regarding the body-as-process, although no attitudinal gender differences were found, masculinity had a significant positive correlation. Finally, results suggested that what may partly account for the more positive body esteem expressed by males than females in previous research are that men appear to hold a higher percentage of neutral attitudes toward their body parts and women hold a higher percentage of negative attitudes.