Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Female ‘fat talk’ socially mandatory, study finds

Women are more conscious of their weight and their bodies as they grow older.

Researchers found out that the fat talk are common not only in middle school aged female but also in older females as well.

Denise Martz of Appalachian State University said:

“We have found in our research that both male and female college students know the norm of fat talk—that females are supposed to say negative things about their bodies in a group of females engaging in fat talk.”

Marts and her colleagues showed that 124 male and female college students were the respndents in the scenario describing three women engaging in fat talk. The test subjects were then asked to predict how a fourth female would respond to this discussion.

The findings showed the forty percent of male subjects and 51 percent of female subjects believed that the fourth female would self-degrade her body.

Explanation of this phenomenon was made by Martz to LiveScience.:

“Because women feel pressured to follow the fat talk norm, they are more likely to engage in fat talk with other females, hence, women normalize their own body dissatisfaction with one another.”

“If there are women out there who feel neutrally or even positively about their bodies, I bet we never hear this from them for fear of social sanction and rejection.”

“Females like to support one another and fat talk elicits support,” “An example would be one saying, ‘It's like, I'm so fat today,’ and another would respond, ‘No, you are not fat, you look great in those pants.’”

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hourglass figure for a woman is not what attracts

As women, we have thought that it is our 36-24-36 which makes us attract men.
We're wrong.

The New York University researchers found out that it is the swaying of hips that make the men take a second look.

This is how they conducted the study.

The team carried out a series of studies involving over 700 participants who were shown a variety of animations and videos of people moving.

Some showed shadow figures, where it was not possible to see if it was a man or a woman, while others obviously showed a man or a woman.

No matter which format was being used, the participants rated women or "female" figures as more attractive if their hips swayed as they walked, while men were more attractive if they had the characteristic shoulder movement.

The research also confirmed the waist-hip ratio assumption, with women's attractiveness being rated higher if their waist-hip ratio was small and men's being higher if their ratio was large.

But Kerri Johnson and Louis Tassinary who led the research, say their work shows attractiveness is not as simple as the difference between two measurements.

Writing in PNAS, the researchers said: "The body's shape and motion provoke basic social perceptions, biological sex and gender - ie masculinity or femininity respectively.

"The compatibility of these basic precepts predicts perceived attractiveness."

The team say their findings only apply to Western cultures, and other societies will judge attractiveness depending on their most prized feminine and masculine traits.

Dr George Fieldman, principal lecturer in psychology at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College said: "This is quite plausible.

"It's the movement which attracts, and not just the waist-hip ratio per se."

He added: "It would be interesting to see what the ideal combination of measurements and wiggle is."