This essay "Body image and gender" outlines the attitude of both genders to their bodies and different disorders which are connected with that. It has been shown repeatedly that body image is the most significant contributor to eating disorders (Hoyt & Kogan, 2001). Studies have also shown that approximately 90% of all persons that have eating disorders are women (Shirao et al. 2005). This might stem from the fact that during pubescence, a woman’s figure tends to deviate from socio-cultural ideals, whereas that of men tends to move toward what is lauded in society (2001). In accordance with this, the study done by Hoyt and Kogan revealed that while 84% of college men surveyed were satisfied with their current weight, only 66% of the women were satisfied with theirs. It also showed that underweight women at-risk for anorexia showed little or no signs of being more satisfied with their body image than were those women of normal or excessive weight. However, in a study done by Friedman, et al. (2002), the degree of a person’s obesity (whether male or female) correlated with their evaluation of body image. Further, body image was found to be a mediator or determiner of self esteem and level of depression.
This general tendency in women to be more dissatisfied with their bodies than men extends even to adolescents and pre-teens. Phares, Steinberg, and Thompson (2004) have cited research showing that adolescent girls of average weight are about as likely as overweight adolescents to be on a diet.