Women more critical of overweight peers than men, finds study | sex and relationships | Hindustan Times
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Women more critical of overweight peers than men, finds study

Women are harsher on their overweight peers than men, and are more vulnerable to body shaming, a recent study has found.

sex and relationships Updated: Apr 09, 2016 09:19 IST
Body Shaming
Women are the harshest judges of weight in relation to beauty, and are also judged negatively by both men and women for being overweight, finds a new study. (Shutterstock)

Women are harsher on their overweight peers than men, and are more vulnerable to body shaming, a recent study has found.

The research from the University of Surrey and University of Oxford has described the relationship between attractiveness, BMI and gender, showing that while women are the harshest judges of weight in relation to beauty, they are also judged negatively by both men and women for being overweight.

Read: Zarine Khan says no to body shaming in her Instagram post

When these findings are applied to trends in wages, there is evidence that anthropometric attributes play a significant role in wage regressions in addition to attractiveness, showing that body size cannot be dismissed as a simple component of beauty.

Researchers assessed how male and female interviewers scored the attractiveness of interviewees of both genders, looking at how BMI affects perceptions of beauty. They found that female interviewers would judge both men and women with higher BMIs as less attractive, whereas men would judge their fellow gender much less harshly.

Professor Sonia Oreffice explained that this is the first study that looks at the relationship between BMI and attractiveness, from both gender’s perspective.

Females judge both men and women with higher BMIs as less attractive, whereas men judge their fellow gender much less harshly. (Shutterstock)

She concluded, “While we are not entirely surprised with the results that correlate BMI and attractiveness, what is remarkable is that gender of the interviewer makes a difference and that body size matters for wages not simply as proxy for beauty.”

This should prompt future researchers to seriously consider and account for the gender of the interviewer in any beauty analysis. This contributes to bridge the gap between studies on the economics of anthropometric measures (including height and BMI), on one hand, and the economics of beauty, on the other, estimating the relevance of body size and beauty.

The study is published in the journal Economics and Human Biology.

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