by mbish3 on April 14, 2014 - 12:09am

           In “Body dissatisfaction and perceived sociocultural pressures: gender and age” by Esnaola, Rodríguez, and Goñi the topic of body dissatisfaction was explored with two genders and there were four different age groups examined. The purpose of this article is to find why and how much certain age groups and genders focus on body image, in terms of body dissatisfaction. In recent years, men have had an increase in body image and dissatisfaction in recent years, however women have had higher body dissatisfaction for decades. Men struggle to have a lean and muscular physical image and women have the ultra-thin image to attain suggested by mass media. To explore these concepts, an experiment was conducted in Spain that consisted of 1259 people by the means of a questionnaire. In this experiment there were both males and females as well as four different age groups from 12-18, 19-30, 31-49, and over 55. This experiment was conducted to test their four hypotheses to determine if they were correct or incorrect. These four hypotheses are based on how females have more body dissatisfaction than males, that older groups care less about body image and therefore have less body dissatisfaction, that gender predicts body dissatisfaction better than age, and that social pressures are connected with body dissatisfaction. The experiment’s results concluded that gender is a better predicator than age, that females have more body dissatisfaction than males, that older people care less about body dissatisfaction, and that social pressures are linked to body dissatisfaction. The experiment proved each of these hypotheses to be correct. The experiment was done to detect the differences and comparisons between age and gender regarding body dissatisfaction. In conclusion, a major concept to take away from this experiment is how women are affected by body image and dissatisfaction, and that these results could be used for women’s medicine in terms of psychological and physical health care (Esnaola, Rodríguez, Goñi, 2010).

            The key concept or question the authors are addressing in the article through the research experiment is that they wanted to fill the gaps of knowledge society has about body image and dissatisfaction through their four hypotheses. Males have been less focused upon in the past regarding body image and dissatisfaction, therefore this experiment was done to shed light on the issue. The researchers wanted to further explore the male’s body dissatisfaction, gender differences as people age, the relationship between social pressures and body dissatisfaction, to be able to understand sociocultural influences nature on males and females of all ages. The experiment addressed the key concept and questions the authors had through the use of an eating disorder inventory (EDI) which only the body dissatisfaction was reported and used. The experiment also used a Sociocultural Influences on the Aesthetic Body Shape Model questionnaire (CIMEC) which included five factors in the 26 question questionnaire. These five factors were distress due to body image, influence of advertising, influence of verbal messages, influence of social models, and the influence of social situations. To make the experiment non-gender bias, the conductors of the experiment removed the first factor of distress due to body image so the questionnaire could be answered by both males and females, since it was targeted more so to women. This experiment was able to include male perspectives on their body image and dissatisfaction, which was a new cultural revolution. The two greatest achievements in the conclusion to the experiment and study were that it gives more details about the link between sociocultural pressures and body dissatisfaction, and it furthermore addresses essential themes that should have a more detailed study in the future (Esnaola, Rodríguez, Goñi, 2010).



Esnaola, I., Rodríguez, A., Goñi, A. (2010, January). Body dissatisfaction and perceived sociocultural pressures: gender and age differences. Salud Mental, 33(1), 21-29

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