Appearance-Related Partner Preferences and Body Image in a German Sample of Homosexual and Heterosexual Women and Men

Autor(en): Cordes, Martin
Vocks, Silja 
Hartmann, Andrea S. 
Stichwörter: Appearance-related partner preferences; Body image; DISSATISFACTION; Eating pathology; GAY; GENDER; LESBIAN WOMEN; MASS INDEX; MUSCULARITY; PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS; Psychology; Psychology, Clinical; SEXUAL ORIENTATION; Social Sciences - Other Topics; Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary; TRIPARTITE INFLUENCE MODEL; UNITED-STATES
Erscheinungsdatum: 2021
Band: 50
Ausgabe: 8
Startseite: 3575
Seitenende: 3586
There is evidence that gender as well as sexual orientation can affect body image. In particular, heterosexual women and homosexual men seem to be more vulnerable to a negative body image compared to homosexual women and heterosexual men. One reason for this may be derived from the fact that heterosexual women and homosexual men try to attract male romantic partners: As men place more importance on physical attractiveness than do women, the pressure to fulfill the sociocultural beauty ideal is thus increased. The present online study investigated differences in appearance-related partner preferences and their associations with measures of body image and eating pathology in homosexual and heterosexual women and men. The non-representative sample consisted of 893 participants (n = 201 lesbian women, n = 192 gay men, n = 349 heterosexual women, and n = 151 heterosexual men), who completed silhouette measures assessing their perception and expectations regarding body fat and muscularity of their own body and the body of a potential romantic partner, as well as questionnaires on drive for thinness, drive for muscularity, and eating pathology. Overall, few differences in appearance-related partner preferences emerged between the four groups. However, compared to heterosexual women, homosexual men appeared to prefer higher muscularity in potential romantic partners, which was also associated with increased drive for thinness and muscularity and increased eating pathology. The present findings indicate that, irrespective of sexual orientation, women and men tend to share similar standards regarding their own and a potential partner's physical appearance, potentially suggesting an increased hegemony of heteronormative beauty ideals in women and men in general.
ISSN: 00040002
DOI: 10.1007/s10508-021-02087-5

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