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Dr. Devendra Singh At University of Texas –Buss, Langlois, etc. Psychologist –Food and alcohol addiction Body image and dieting-related research led into.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Devendra Singh At University of Texas –Buss, Langlois, etc. Psychologist –Food and alcohol addiction Body image and dieting-related research led into."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Devendra Singh At University of Texas –Buss, Langlois, etc. Psychologist –Food and alcohol addiction Body image and dieting-related research led into his early waist-to-hip ratio studies

2 Body Image as Psychological Construct Multidimensional self-attitudes toward one’s body, particularly its appearance Self-perceptions, cognitions, affect, and behaviours Has moderate relationship with self-esteem and psychosocial adjustment issues –e.g., eating disturbances, depression, social anxiety, sexual frustration

3 Psychology Today (1972 & 1985) Popular magazine –Mail-in survey –Stratified random sample Found that women possess more negative body- image attitudes than men –Shape and weight –Fears of becoming fat –Occur across lifespan, but especially prevalent in adolescence

4 Cash & Henry (1995) 803 women years 19 cities in 5 U.S.A. geographic regions Representative cross-section of age, race, income, education Door-to-door; left questionnaire booklet to be collected next day; monetary compensation

5 Subscales of the MB SRQ Appearance Evaluation (AE) –7 items to assess global evaluation of appearance Body Areas Satisfaction Scale (BASS) –Height, weight, hair, face, upper-, mid-, and lower-torso Overweight Preoccupation (OP) –Weight vigilance, fat anxiety, current dieting, eating restraint

6 Results Sizable minority of women report an overall negative body image 36% report wholesale body dissatisfaction on BASS 48% report unfavourable view of their body on AE 49% report concerns about being overweight

7 BASS Breakdown Physical Area % Dissatisfied % Dissatisfied/Neutral Face Height Hair Upper-torso Muscle tone Weight Lower-torso Mid-torso

8 Effect of Age and Race Age-cohort differences significant on AE scale, but not BASS or OP years have more favourable body image than the four older groups (25-34, , 45-54, 55-70) Black women had more favourable body image than Anglo and Hispanic women

9 Disturbing Trend Nearly 50% of the women surveyed reported globally negative evaluations of looks and concerns about becoming overweight Over 33% expressed body-image discontent Much worse than the 1985 survey –30% --> 48% unfavourable MB SRQ score

10 Cash, Ancis, & Strachan (1997) Learning? Cultural forces influence body image Jackson (1992) –Across lifespan, women have poorer body image than men Gender attitudes Ideologies

11 Cultural Norms Argued that cultural norms and expectations encourage women & girls to focus attention on their physical appearance –Femininity ideals Role of values, attitudes, gender identities? Do nontraditional gender attitudes lead to more positive body image?

12 “Types” Traditional (T) Feminist identity (F) Hypotheses –T associated with greater body-image investment –T has more negative body-image evaluations and affect

13 Study 122 female undergraduate students Questionnaire Gender Attitude Inventory (GAI) –Gender stereotypes –Sexual relationships –Societal organizations Male-Female Relations Questionnaire (MFRQ) –Social interaction with men –Male preference Feminist Identity Development Scale (FIDS) –Five stages of feminist development Multidimensional Body- Self Relations Questionnaire (MB SRQ)

14 Results Did not support idea that development of feminist identity or endorsement of egalitarian social identity --> more positive body image Also, traditional identity is not responsible for controlling body image issues

15 Waist-to-Hip Ratio Not developed by Singh Measure going back into early-mid 20th century for medical purposes Reflects distribution of fat between upper and lower body and relative amount of intra- vs. extra- abdominal fat Measure waist at narrowest point b/t ribs and iliac crest and hip at greatest protrusion of buttocks circumferences

16 Cutting to the Chase Basically, Singh’s early work supported a: Male preference for women with WHRs around 0.7 Female recognition of male preference

17 WHR at the Oscars (a few years back)

18 Amazon overcoming a Greek (c. 350 BC)

19 Venus (Capitoline type) (Rome copy of Greek, c. 360 BC) Aphrodite bathing (Roman, c. 150 AD)

20 The Three Graces (by Antonio Canova, )

21 Female/Male Differences Differences in post-puberty fat deposition patterns Females: add fat to gluteofemoral region Males: lose fat from gluteofemoral region and add to central abdomen and upper body (shoulders, neck)

22 WHR Issues Age Health Reproductive fitness, fecundity All factor into potential adaptation for mate selection

23 Sex Hormonal Role Testosterone: stimulates fat deposits to abdomen and inhibits deposits to gluteofemoral regions Estrogens: inhibit fat deposits in abdomen and maximally stimulate deposits to gluteofemoral region (and other regions, too)

24 Android and Gynoid Body shapes Healthy body weight range Highly different from children and elderly Altering sex hormones alters fat distributions and body shape Image modified from Pioneer Plaques Scans/Original%20Files/Pictograph/PioneerPlaque.jpg

25 Males: High Testosterone Charles Atlas Leo Robert Dave Draper

26 And… Really High Testosterone El Shahat MabroukLee HaneyDorian YatesRonnie Coleman

27 Female: Low Estrogens, High Testosterone (Ms. Olympia 2003)

28 Children /uploaded/132C_4.jpg Pre-sex hormone Fat deposition fairly similar between sexes Can be difficult to distinguish by fat deposit form Clear difference between pre- and post- puberty shapes

29 Weight Anorexia to obesity: both interfere with body shape judgments images/hdc_0001_0002_0_img0094.jpg

30 Elderly Circulating sex hormones drop Females add fat deposits to abdomen Male muscle mass drops, reducing android shape; fat depositions generally follow earlier pattern Loss in sex differentiation based on fat deposition

31 Health Variety of heritable issues linked to fat deposition patterns Polycystic ovarian syndrome, advanced cirrhosis, hypogonadism, Klinefelter syndrome, etc. Obesity itself has numerous complications: cardiac issues, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, etc.

32 Reproductive Status Obviously, linked to issues of age Hormone levels (lutenizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, sex steroids) Stored energy levels; pregnancy and childrearing is going to be expensive Concealed ovulation and current fecundity status

33 WHR Speculation: Pregnant or Plump? (Remember this?)

34 Pregnancy Obvious WHR effect Relatively early indicator of pregnancy DiseaseImages/2487_pregnancy_ext_440.jpg

35 Singh (1993) Manipulated WHR to change perceived attractiveness If WHR preference is adaptation, should see fairly consistent outcomes Attractiveness, healthiness, reproductive capacity

36 Earlier Work on Idealized Figure Women guess males prefer thin female Males actually prefer not very thin Studies utilized body size (thin vs. fat), not shape (i.e., fat distribution) Singh’s work utilized both size and shape

37 Stimuli Underweight, normal, overweight 0.7 to 1.0 WHRs Stimuli

38 Results: Young Subjects

39 Results Generally, similar male and female patterns in rankings Used both WHR and body weight to rank Within weight category, subjects systematically used WHR to infer all attributes Overall, higher ratings for normal weight than under- or overweight figures, and for 0.7 WHR across weight categories

40 Results: Older Subjects (30-86)

41 Results Again, general agreement between sexes Unlike younger men, older men didn’t rank U7 as attractive, healthy, or reproductive

42 Youthfulness Lack of association between youthfulness and reproductive capacity In particular, underweights ranked high for youthfulness, but low for reproductive capacity

43 To Young to Reproduce? Age estimates –Underweights: –Normals: –Overweights: Not because underweights are being judged pre-pubescent Body weight, more than WHR, used for age estimates

44 Honest Signals Signals = traits Honest if signal correlates with/reliably predicts something useful to receiver of signal Difficult to fake Too much dishonest signaling will disrupt the system

45 WHR as Signal Singh’s work shows males and females attend to WHR Utilized for a number of determinations Health, attractiveness, and particular WHRs closely linked Hamilton & Zuk (1982): sexual selection for signals of good health

46 Uniquely Human Gluteofemoral fat deposits No sexual dimorphism for fat distribution Development no more than 5-6 mya, likely much more recently 20/11/hairless-chimpanzee jpg content/uploads/2007/05/chimpanzee.jpg 17/vervet-monkey.jpg

47 Bipedalism and Brain Size Bipedal Australopithecines mya Brain size increases ~2.7 mya Newborn ape’s brain about 200 cc, roughly half that of an adult’s Newborn human’s brain about 450 cc, roughly a third the size of an adult’s Brain of 675 cc would make human head too large to birth

48 Ancestral Growth Patterns Ancestors left apelike growth when adult brain passed about 770 cc –Beyond this, brain would have to more than double from birth –Beginning of helplessness in infants H. habilis, 800 cc brain; H. erectus, 900 cc brain Late H. erectus’ (post 800 k) tooth growth pattern like modern humans (and Neanderthals) Puts birthing and childrearing issues becoming significant somewhere around mya

49 Fat Stores Storage fat –Depends on nutritional status; subcutaneous deposits –8-10% total body weight, both males and females Essential fat –Includes gender-specific fat, bone marrow, deep fat stores, CNS –14% of female total body weight; only 2-4% in males –Not utilized for short-term food shortage –“Reproductive fat” for females –Gluteofemoral fat stores primarily used in late pregnancy and lactation

50 Reproductive Capability Gluteofemoral fat stores Energy for gestation and lactation Proper infant brain development requires lipids and lactose Differential reproductive success

51 WHR Good indicator of general health as well as reproductive capacity Selection favoured males who picked females with stored “reproductive” calories, not general obesity –Studies show difficulties in conception with higher WHRs Venus of Dolni Vestonice (29,000-25,000 BCE) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Venus_of _Dolni_Vestonice.png

52 Feedback Men favoured gynoid fat distribution These women’s reproductive success increased the genes for the gynoid form in the gene pool Sexy daughters and sons with fathers’ preference Reasonable argument for WHR as honest signal


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