Donna. on The Fat Gap
To: Martha Brummett
> ->increased calcium intake, increased my exercise (to stimulate
> ->bone growth) and last but not least, increased my food intake!
> ->Fortunately, it worked. I'm not a size 10 anymore, but who the
> Amazing! Could the prevalence of this attitude have something to do with
> the increase in osteoporosis among older women?
You know, the other day I sent out a post to you about the difference
between what society "says" we should weigh vs. what weights others find us
attractive. Well, I dug up something from the "Women, Food and Body Image"
section in my women's studies course, and I thought you might be interested
In 1985, at the University of Pennsylvania, there was a study that was done
with 3 different undergraduate psychology classes. (In other words, don't
count this as scientific or statistically valid, 'cause the sample size is
too small. I don't know any other methodology, since the sample size alone
is enough to put flashing lights on the results. I offer it here mostly
for the "food for thought" category, er, so to speak. )
Anyways, charts were drawn up for both men and women. Each chart started
out with very thin people on the left side; obese on the right side; and
about 7-8 different gradations of weight in between. (Women were given
charts with women figures; men were given charts with men figures.)
They were asked to mark on the charts their answers to the following
. where do you think you fit on this scale?
. what do you think the opposite sex prefers?
. what do you think is "ideal" for your sex?
Then, men were given women's charts and women were given men's charts, and
they were asked to mark on the chart the answer to this question:
. what do YOU find most attractive?
(Apparently, these people were heterosexual -- or at least were presumed
to be so.)
Now, I can't draw a fancy chart here in ASCII-land, so this is a crude
representation of the results -- but I think the results can still be
Women: A B C D E F G
3 2 8 1
Men: A B C D E F G
Key: "A" represents the skinniest of the figures; "G" the heaviest
1. Where women think they fit on the scale
2. What women think men prefer
3. What women think are ideal for women
4. Given the men's chart, what women themselves really find more attractive
5. Where men think they fit on the scale
6. What men think women prefer
7. What men think are ideal for men
8. Given the women's chart, what men themselves really find more attractive
Interesting, no? Especially considering that the gap between what Men
Think Women Prefer and What Women Do Prefer is so much wider than the vice
versa gap; yet public perception would suggest otherwise.