Gender differences in implicit weight identity




This study examined gender differences in explicit and implicit attitudes toward overweight and explicit and implicit weight identity.


Normal weight women (n=22) and men (n=20) and overweight women (n=20) and men (n=21) completed the Implicit Association Test and portions of the Eating Disorders Questionnaire.


Although explicit and implicit anti-fat attitudes were ubiquitous, gender differences emerged for weight identity. Both men and women provided accurate explicit appraisals of their weight status. However, men implicitly identified themselves as light regardless of actual weight status. Women's implicit weight identity was associated with their actual weight status, explicit weight appraisal, and implicit self-esteem.


These findings may provide additional insight into why men are underrepresented among those seeking weight loss and why women are at increased risk for developing eating disorders. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: 125–135, 2003.