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Psychology of Women Quarterly
Original Item ID
Our study examined similarities and differences in women’s and men’s comparison tendencies and perfection beliefs when evaluating their face, body shape, and physical abilities, as well as how these tendencies and beliefs relate to their body esteem. College students (90 women and 88 men) completed the Body Esteem Scale (Franzoi & Shields, 1984) and answered questions concerning their social comparison and temporal comparison tendencies related to face, body shape, and physical abilities evaluations as well as personal perfection body beliefs. As predicted, women were more likely than men to compare their face and bodies to other same-sex persons whom they perceived as having either similar or better physical qualities than themselves in those body domains, with their most likely comparison tendency being upward social comparison. More men than women held body-perfection beliefs for all three body domains, and men were most likely to rely on future temporal comparison when evaluating their body shape. Comparison tendencies and perfection beliefs also were differentially related to women's and men's body esteem; whereas women rely on self-critical social comparison strategies associated with negative body esteem, men’s comparison strategies and perfection beliefs are more self-hopeful. Implications for practitioners treating body-image issues are discussed.
Franzoi, Stephen L.; Vasquez, Kris; Frost, Katherine; Sparapani, Erin; Martin, Jessica; and Aebly, Megan, "Exploring Body Comparison Tendencies: Women Are Self-Critical Whereas Men Are Self-Hopeful" (2012). Psychology Faculty Research and Publications. 77.